The 120mm bike that intrigues me most at this moment is the new 120mm Scott Spark.
Has the same rear end, albeit with a different shock placement, as Yeti, Cannondale, etc. Same as Kona, from the looks of things.
Not really a fan of DW-link, VPP, or Maestro. I've owned three and, despite "new and improved" labels that sucked me in, always had to put way too much air into them to get them to act as the marketing literature described. Unless I was running like 10% sag or less (way, way too much), they bobbed quite a bit and never had the amazing pedaling performance I was told they'd provide.
Also, if this is the same Milesthedog from Blacksburg, VA:
All of the trails in our area can be ridden extremely fast on a modified single pivot bike like the ASRc, Scalpel, Kona Hei Hei Race DL, Spark (120 or 100), etc. I'd argue that tire selection is going to make more of a difference in getting up Royale and Prickly Pear quickly, and down Snake Root in one piece, than suspension design.
Interesting comment - riding dw-link back to back with single pivot designs, I found the difference to be pretty big in terms of having a more active rear suspension while still getting rid of most of the pedal feedback.
So, back to my original post: climbing up steep technical stuff is easier on a 120mm bike, despite skill level, compared to a low travel bike. My original post was in response to the Naild R3act-2Play suspension which aims to allow suspension to be run more open and still have minimal pedal feedback and to have the performance associated with lesser suspension travel. I'd like to see that brought to XC-level mtb's and I'm interested in a front suspension design that has the same feature with regard to leaving the suspension nearly wide open and not having to worry about pedal bob or brake dive.... and accomplishing that via kinematics rather than shock set up.
I get that people are happy with their current bikes and with current technology and some people have innovation-fatigue, but the original post was more about thinking forward.