I saw this bike probably about a year ago and I come back to look at it quite a bit. The frame is a Rick Hunter and it was built for a guy from the Monterey area who started the Tour Divide last year. This is kind of what I'm looking to for a new build. It's different and a bit funky. I'd like to try something different with bars but I'm not sure this is it. They don't appear to be too far swept back but I need them to work well on singletrack too.
Regardless if I get into a steel frame or not and make changes to the cockpit setup, one change that will for sure happen this year is with brakes. I WILL be switching to mechanical disc brakes. The last two rides I've done have involved stops to fix the front brake rub and I'm done with that business. I love the way hydraulics feel but I'm over the hassle. I'm kind of on a quest for a hassle free and simple bike this year. I'm even looking to go rigid and I may even part with my beloved Shimano shifters in favor of SRAM just for simplicity. There's just not much inside those SRAM's to go wrong. I've also gotta figure out my fly rod carrying situation.