Supposedly a hard-tail is more efficient, but with today's tech its mostly a moot point for casual riders. However hard-tails have fewer moving parts and therefor have less to worry about, in my book at least, but also are less expensive. I'd probably be looking at spending a little more and get a good hard tail from someone like Giant, Trek, etc. They're a bit pricey but you do get what you pay for. When I got started someone told me to go to a reputable bike shop to get one and ride as many different ones as I can before I buy, best advice I've taken so far. With my old one I'd get winded going down my street and back, now I have a basic Giant hard-tail and can ride several miles before I need to stop.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Have you ever wondered if the one dollar bills in your wallet were ever in a stripper's butt crack?
If not, you're wondering now. Have a nice day..