The 29'er is becoming a reality.
I found a brand new 20" Soma Juice frame on eBay, cheap. So I grabbed it.
Yes, it's silver.
The next step will be headset installation, facing the bearing surfaces and chasing BB threads. I think I'll leave that to a willing LBS, provided they aren't too pissed about me not buying the frame from them. I was considering a Salsa El Mariachi but frame and rigid fork would have been around $850 from the LBS. Yeah, I already have a Soma Double Cross but it's been a wonderful bike, so I expect this will be a nice frame as well. Plus, it's steel!
I'm going to take my time with this build, one component at a time. I think the wheel build will follow headset installation, once I figure out which hubs and rims I'll want. Disc brakes, 3 x 9 drivetrain, SRAM components.
I'm thinking about taking a shot at Leadville next year, and this would be the bike I'd use.
I expect the frame to show up next week, so look out for pics!