I saw on the ACA article that Salsa Cycles has a bike marketed for the GDMBR. The fargo Complete.
Look good but I did not see front suspension on the bike. Everything I have read suggest front suspension.
My experience is if you are riding self contained, it is all about weight. Secondly, it is all about reducing risk of equipment failure.
As you state, its all about weight and reliability. Non suspension fork is lighter and more reliable than suspension fork. Now days with huge tires like the Schwalbe Fat Albert tire is available in 26"x2.4" you get plenty of suspension from the tire itself. No need for extra weight and complexity in a suspension fork.