I'm on my 2nd modern bike, after taking the plunge about 2 years ago.
I first bought a 3 year old Trek Fuel EX9.
I spent a few quid changing things I didn't like on it (new brakes was the main thing) and found it a cracking introduction to full sus riding.
The thing that had been putting my off going full sus was I was concerned it wouldn't climb as well as my hard tail....I was very wrong!
It had the Fox RP23 rear shock, and the pro-pedal allowed just enough give to track roots/rocks etc when climbing to give better traction.
I rode that for a year or so, then in Jan this year I bought my first new bike since 1989!
I found a last years Sant Cruz Superlight in a local shop. I paid £1900 for it (which was £1000 off it's 'new' price).
Really impressed with this too. What I like about this frame design is the single pivot. It's such a simple design, that works well and should keep servicing costs down
Hope this helps, and enjoy the demo rides!