I work with someone who is just getting into mountain biking. This week he gave me $2,200 and told me to get him all set up; no requirements other than disc brakes, full suspension, and I stay within $2,200. Sweet...I get to buy a bike and bike stuff and it doesn't cost me anything. It actually cost me $4.21 because I went a little over budget.
He is a very intelligent Engineer, but it is funny how people new to the sport take MSRP so seriously. He wanted a Garmin 305 Edge. It lists for $379. He got excited when he found one for $350. I bought one for him from Cosco for $179. The original plan was to buy a hardtail with XT parts from bikesdirect.com, throw away the frame (or put it on ebay) and build up a used frame. I ended up getting him a new full suspension Motobecane with XTR shifters and derailleurs and called it good. I spent the remaining $400 on a Camelbak, tools, tubes, etc.
The UPS trucks will start showing up at my house on Tuesday. I will put everything together for him by next weekend. I am giddy even tough I don't get to keep anything.