The cables and hoses arrived over the weekend so after fitting them I managed my first proper ride on the new frame today.
I started of extremely cautious, but after a few minutes I had almost forgotten and started pushing quite hard and not slowing for bumps. Part of the route had a section of dried plowed field and I was able to carry quite a bit more speed compared to the hardtail, without any cracking or damage to the frame, both while standing and sat down. On long smooth climbs I found there was a little bobbing, but not too bad and putting the shock in pro-pedal mode stopped it completely.
As would be expected from a full sus, on steep climbs traction was improved compared to the hardtail. I also didn't have any unexpected flex from any parts of the frame so I'm looking forward to testing it over the next few days!
On the second ride I noticed I rather alarming knocking sounds when pedaling hard - I tried to work out what it was and tighten all accessible bolts, but nothing seemed to do anything. When I got home I pulled the cranks out and tighten the main pivot and that seems to have sorted it - but can't see how it's making the noise so I'll be keeping an eye on it at afan!