I've got lots of Kona Lurve
Nearly all the new ones leave me cold, but the same goes for most bike brands seen on the shop floor: Fat alu tubing; hydroformed; too much travel; too complex; too heavy.
The older Konas have aged very well. They ride great and the geometry still looks modern compared to other bikes of their era. I think that counts for much of the hype.
And, apart from the racey ones (with lighter tubing), you can bolt on racks, panniers and happily go off exploring the world or just do the grocery shopping. The same is not true of modern MTBs, which are neither robust nor adaptable.
One of mine was free and one cost me ten pounds for the frame.
Lucky, I suppose. But my point is: Some of the old steel hardtails are not worth much, but they're very adaptable and the ride is ALWAYS great. Mass produced? So what?
OK, I'll stop now.