I don't think the fast flowing western trails are similar to N.E. trails and as such bike test comparison would be equally different. I live and ride in Lake Tahoe, but I was raised and rode in PA. The trails in PA are much different than here. Much more rocky and rooty, tight single track is what I remember.
Bikes that offer a slightly steeper HT angle and shorter stays would probably be better suited to the North East where a slacker HT angle would be a little better for the higher speed trails here.
I am currently riding a Turner 5 spot and have found it to be nearly perfect for all trail riding, tight and technical, and fast and fun. the HT angle is just steep enough to provide really good response on the tight stuff without waivering on the steep climbs.
Plenty of really good east coast builders back there that have the terrain wired. Ted Wojocik, Lynskey, and Independent Fabrications come to mind right off the bat.
I agree that the mags and the web test bikes too much out west. Check out these guys. http://www.dirtragmag.com/ They are out of Pittsburgh and test almost exclusively on the East Coast.