Welcome to the Newschoolers forums! You may read the forums as a guest, however you must be a registered member to post. Register to become a member today!
dont get the pop can trek.
I would look at the revolt, and norco. Also look for the 2010 flatline, my dad has one and loves it I think it wieghs 39 and is pretty legit. Only downside is there wasnt many made so it may be hard to find.
It seems like you don't want a "plow-bike," those that allow you to blow through sections at high speed and don't require much rider input to do so. The 303 RDH is the exact opposite of a plow bike, it's flickable and requires and rewards rider input.
The bikes you should avoid, to narrow the list - Scott Gambler, Santa Cruz v10, Demo 8, Foes etc.
Evil and the Transition TR450 are a good choice, but it's going to be hard to find either and the build could easily exceed 5k. The best best is to get a complete bike from a big company since it will lower cost and be way easier to find. To that end, the Trek and Glory are good bets (I quite like the Trek myself) and you can get a 303 around the same price (such as go-ride.com). For 5k, an off-the-shelf race bike is the way to go.
Hope that helps.