The Kona Dawg felt incredibly heavy compared to the Trek Fuel 90. I tried the same sort of riding as yesterday but it just wasn't as smooth either, and I had nowhere the same level of fun or confidence.
Then tried out a Giant (sorry, forget model, have it written down somewhere) and it was a lot better, but at 5-6" of travel it was probably a lot softer than I want. As much as the sales guy talked about its "stable platform", I wasn't feeling it. It seemed to take a lot of work to move it around. Perhaps other 5-6" travel bikes without the stable platform are much worse. And with 5 points of adjustment (3 for rear shocks, two for front), it was far more complicated than I'd like.
So at this point I'm still liking the Trek Fuel 90, but I'll probably go ride it again tomorrow to make sure that:
1) it's as light as I remember.
2) it's as smooth and fun as I remembered, and it's not just scoring a lot of points because it happened to be the first suspension bike I'd ever ridden.
3) climbing is tolerable. (didn't try that the other day)