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First post so please be gentle!

I am having a similar issue to many who have posted before - in that I have £1500 to spend on a bike and don't know what to get. So, through much toil and sweat I have decided to get a hardtail for general bumming around on in forests etc...

I have a shortlist of:

Stumpjumper comp
Whyte 905
Marin White Line Pro

I understand the need to try a bike but it is difficult as I live in central london. Some background info - I owned a Marin Rocky Ridge 09 and liked it apart from the gears starting slipping quite early on. Maybe it's just me but I find this really annoying, especially after shelling out so much. Next was the Specialized rockhopper pro (the gold one). Also liked it but it felft a little small and unstable for some reason.

Anyway, sorry for being long, but I trust you guys on here as you seem to know your stuff so was wondering if you had any tips, suggestions, opinions on the bikes above or any other that I may not have heard of because I'm a little out of the game..

Big respect to those who can help. Really appreciate any info......

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