I own two Salsa Fargos, both of which were bought as framesets and built up as two completely different bikes. I was lucky enough to get both frames at a discount... the first Fargo arrived with a messed up paint job and instead of shipping it back, I was able to buy the frame at a reduced price. More recently I picked up the second frame when QBP put the remaining stock of the original frames on clearance prior to the arrival of the newly designed version of the Fargo. I knew I liked the "old" geometry and the price was too good to pass up, especially since I was looking to build a new bike for riding the local singletrack.
As I've said before, the reason the Fargo is such an appealing frame to me is the fact that it has a tall front end. I prefer the riding position that I get when the saddle and handlebars are at, or near, the same height. My saddle height is about 34-34.5 inches (from center of BB to top of saddle) and at that length, ordinary set-ups simply can't get the handlebars high enough. The options are a high-rise stem and riser bars, or get a frame with a tall head tube and long steerer... like the Fargo.
The Fargo is designed for use with off-road drop bars... therefore it has a taller front end so the rider can comfortably use the drops as the primary hand position. I take advantage of the tall front end, and simply run it with a flat handlebar. The downside of using a frame designed for drop bars is that the top tube is shorter than a traditional mountain bike frame. I get around this by using a relatively long stem and a seatpost with a fair amount of offset. There are almost always compromises made when fitting a mass-produced bike to someone my size, and I'm completely satisfied with the adjustments I've made. Plus, I don't mind a slightly more upright riding position.
I do almost all my own wrenching, and with the exception of facing/chasing the HT and BB (and in the case of the Fargos, pressing a headset), I have no problem assembling a bike from parts. Wrenching on bikes is definitely a favorite past time. I assembled both bikes on a budget with mostly middle-of-the-road parts... nothing fancy. Although the custom Waltworks fork on the Fat Fargo is an obvious exception. While the parts on either bike don't have much of a bling factor, these bikes are definitely not conventional.
Thing 1 - built for all-day rides on pavement, gravel and packed dirt:
Thing 2 - built for riding the local singletrack mtb trails:
Neither bike is anything close to a typical Salsa Fargo build, but that just goes to show the versatility of the Fargo frame. Both bikes fit great and should see many, many hours of ride time this summer.