Horses for courses, but not for me as someone who never rides out of his local area due to family etc. I'll stick to my 21lb rigid singlespeed.
Youve hit the nail on the head, for guys who like to stick to areas they know well and possibly not push the boundaries very often, a lovely 21lb rigid singlespeed fits the bill perfectly.
But for flying down steep hilly/rocky areas at speed, taking jumps, & keeping comfortable(ish) then this one would excel (judging by the cool video).
The fitness issue is debatable, id probably argue its just darn exciting being able to hit rocky paths/drop offs at that kind of speed comfortably and in more safety...and on equipment built to withstand those kind of knocks.
As for full suspension, sure they would probably do a great job - possibly better on many trails. but personally, I cant be bothered with the constant fettling and set up issues, maintainance, searching for bearings/washers etc.
A pair of forks and discs is enough hassle!
And as for aesthetics - Its certainly not going to win beauty contests, but I tend to be drawn to the slightly more 'unique' designs, I like fugly stuff (should have thought about that before i met the wife).
But then again, stuff built to do a job tends not to be stunning, think 'Land Rover' - not exactly beautiful but sure is purposeful!
Actually the 'Ragley Fugly' has a certain ring to it...