What makes it good?
Being completely honest it looks like any other MTB now
Admittedly - the RC303/5 is no looker.
Comfort - it really is rigid and shock absorbent all at the same time.
Weight is OK too - Mine is 11kg with no effort made to save weight whatsoever. Bikes with this much travel are usually heavier. It's lighter than my Dave Yates.
Geometry made for fork travel that a normal XC bike can't cope with - without the extremes that make it unusable as an XC machine. Lock your fork out at the right place in its travel and you have a rigid XC bike, yet it'll take a boulder field in its stride when you unlock it.
It's a well thought out concept - some details that are irritating (rear brake cable routing anyone?) that works very well for intended purpose. It's not a race bike - but how many people in here race anyway? Some of used to and a few still do.
The Taiwan issue is a red herring. Scott, Specialized, Kona? I don't see the same "But it's made in Taiwan" protests.
Completed: 94 Stumpjumper w. M733; ; 92 Dave Yates 731 ; 97 Parkpre Pro-Elite ; Pace RC200 F6 ; Pace RC300; 82 Gios Super Record ; 97-8 De Rosa Giro D´Italia; ; Banani SPX Track bike ; 89 Alan/Mavic Cross Bike ; 05 Focus Cross Team ; 90 Look MI-80 all-Mavic ; 12 Focus Izalco Team/custom build ; 11 Focus Thunder Custom build
Projects : , Brouwer all-Mavic
Stripped : Pace RC303
Gone : GT Karakoram
Stayed in the family: Kuota Kharma, 04 Stumpjumper FSR
Ceased to be : Dynatech MT3, killed by corroded seatstays.