Thanks a bunch, very helpful. Sorry you've probably already answered most of these questions. I think your earlier posts are what got me so intrigued by this bike.Let's see...
1- No. I currently have my Pistola (mentioned above), and I had a Smash for the first 5+ months of 2020 which I just sold last month. I prefer the Pistola on 99% of the rides. Sure, there are a few times when I wish I had the 170/145mm Smash, but the Pistola holds its own on everything. It just takes a little more work to go as fast, but it can go as fast. With a plush 150mm Lyrik up front, it feels perfect to me.
2- See above. I like putting in long rides, which the Pistola is better for. I also like a more playful bike, which you get in the Pistola vs the Smash. Of course, YMMV and this is only my opinion. I've ridden my Pistola on some pretty hardcore trails and haven't felt out-gunned: Whole Enchilada, everything in St. George/Hurricane, Greens Creek in Salida, Grouse in Steamboat, White Ranch in Golden, and many more.
3- Without getting into too many details, I generally agree with what you've got above. The 150 Lyrik Select is a great "lower level" fork and doesn't need to be upgraded. The coil is a good upgrade if you want to go that route, but the RS Deluxe is a great shock in its own right and is a decent bit lighter. I'd definitely upgrade the NX drivetrain, it's a boat anchor and isn't even in the same league as SLX or XT. Oh, and I don't personally like the DHRII, I'd put the 2.4 WT Dissector on the back.
I do wish they offered SLX or XT drivetrain on this bike, not sure why they don't. I just have a hard time justifying +$250 going from NX to GX when the technology/features seem to be the same?
As for the tires, why'd you go w/ the Dissectors? I demo'd a Ripmo AF w/ Assegais and they definitely felt a little overboard for my riding. I think I'd prefer a less chunky/lighter setup on a bike like the Pistola. Are the Dissectors like this?