I just hate to see the misinfo that gets spread around on the web. Mountian Biking is one of the most counter intuvative sports to explain the physics of and most people go by feel, and not by what is actually faster.
You hear it all the time. hardtails are faster more efficient and lighter than thier FS counterparts. People also claim that they 'feel' faster.
lets take a look at each word used to described hardtails vs FS.
Lighter - I am not going to argue this one at all. Hardtail frames are much lighter. The thing I am going argue that alot of weight weenies dont underrstand is lighter doesnt always equal faster.
More effficient - hardtails are more effcient at a less efficient pedaling style. Let me explain. They will pedal better standing for sure, and also people who tend to pedal like they are sawing logs will beneifit from the fact a hardtail doesnt bob. This is all assuming smooth surfaces, make it a trail, especailly a trail that has tons of rocks,roots or logs and the FS bike is simply more efficient up the climb. Especailly bikes that have pedal platform built into how the suspension pivots and not just the rear shock.
Faster - well faster isnt subjective. You can simple take a bike out and ride it hard around a set loop, then take another bike out and ride the same loop and find out whats faster. Most people will never do this though. I have to be fair my wasnt truly apples to apples as the hardtail was a SS but even on the easiest trails in the area the FS bike is faster. The SS 'feels" faster for sure though. I have never heard others say this but let me try to explain alot of people will feel 'bouncing' or 'roughness" as faster it quite often is not the case though. hardtails will feel faster because well they are bouncing in less control and actually going slower.
ride what ever you want but dont justify anything with actually seeing for yourself what is really faster. Now if you justifing it for fun or being different then no harm. I still like my hardtails especailly my SS hardtail. well because its fun and mixes up the local trails.