Thanks much for all the positive feedback.
I think the 16"/17" frame size lends itself very well to an "idealistic-looking" build: not so small to really look small, but small enough to have a relatively aggressive sloping top tube angle and require a taller/more aggressive rider to run the post long.
At ~5'8"/5'9" I'm either a tall 16"/17" or a short 18" rider. I've found that the typically shorter top tube and decreased standover of the 16"/17" frames really improve my control and overall ride experience. The long-n-low cockpit also plays a large part in keeping a balanced front/rear weight distribution for technical XC riding and in the saddle ascents.
I think the setup looks pretty cool myself, but there's a lot of function behind it (for my riding style anyway).
Writing this will probably get me kicked off this forum, but I'm just not a purple-ano kinda guy. I hope everyone understands.