You'd definitely be better off with a full suspension bike if you plan at riding any freeride type stuff at all...and one more in the all mountain range. A hardtail 29er is great for strictly XC, but you would definitely want to avoid anything like NP Freeride - the geometry, frame strength, suspension, and wheels would all be working against you and very liable to break and/or injure you. Like I mentioned before, the great thing about getting a solid all mountain bike is that it can handle most of that stuff, but still works great as an XC bike...just stiffen up the suspension, raise the seat, and you're good to go. I'd be looking for something in the 5-6 inch travel range that is built with light freeride in mind - something like the Specialized Enduro, Giant Reign, Trek Remedy, etc. These are relatively expensive bikes new, but if you continue to search around online you should be able to find an older model for around a grand.