Opinions please for buying a bike

MTB noob
MTB noob Posts: 272
edited November 2012 in MTB buying advice
I am fairly awkward when I am buying a bike. My one that I have been using has passed it's day and I am looking for something more robust and to my geometry. :|

What I am looking for is a strong hardtail with preferably less gears (1,8 or 9) and I'm not fussy about the weight at all (17kg/37lbs or less). My riding style is quite rough but can make mistakes quite often (such as entering corners too fast) when I do a range of trail riding/XC with sometimes dirt-jump included. :D

To know my dimensions, I am:

Height: 71.5" (182cm)
Inside leg: 35" (89cm)
Arms span: 74.5" (189cm) (Yes I am a bit like a monkey)

I have been looking at the NS bikes Core 2 for example but it is slightly out of my pricing range but the Core 3 had bad reviews so I am avoiding that. (Please keep the price on the low end.) :roll:

Can anyone suggest anything for me? Thanks :mrgreen:
My god road cycling is scary! I'm going to keep my relaxing rides to the trails where everything is green, fast and less crazy.