Chimp, I understand about the RockShox. My first two forks were a '95 Quadra 21 that came on a '95 Gary Fisher Paragon, and a '98 RockShox Judy SL with Englund Air Cartridges instead of the RS internals. Both seemed pretty good. But when I got my Airborne Lucky Strike in 1999, I got a '99 Marzocchi Bomber Z2 BAM and was so pleased with the huge leap in plushness, responsiveness and steering accuracy that I vowed to never again ride RS forks, and to try to use Marzocchi Bomber forks whenever I could.
As to semislicks, the Hutchinson Python Airlight I mentioned cures many of the problems of semislicks while rolling just as fast, and having a higher volume that gives a more comfy ride. They also have better grip on technical terrain. I suggest trying some if you need new tires. You can pick up the Python Airlight and the Python Gold pretty cheaply now, because Hutchinson has added a new model, the Scorpion, that supposedly takes the place of the Python as the "king of the hill" in Hutchinson XC tires.