@eahazelton Full suspension MTB's do cost considerably more than hardtails yes. They also require more maintenance and they weigh more. Half decent, trust worthy full suspensions usually start around $2500, while a hardtail of the same quality (and build kit) will usually cost around $1200. Full suspensions also very rarely have any rack mounts, and it's not uncommon for it to be impossible to mount a rack to one, so most people who are touring usually rule them out.
With that being said, they do offer a more comfortable ride, and can be ridden harder off road so I would see why some would want one. My suggestions for a full suspension can be found in the article I wrote about affordable full suspension XC bikes.
The Rocky Mountain Instinct is my favourite. The adjustable geometry would give you so much freedom and comfort riding whatever your trip throws in your path. If you want a bike with a little less travel and steeper angles Rocky does make a Thunderbolt which is just that. The Sherpa from Rocky, mentioned in the 4 Plus bikes you need to ride may be your full suspension solution as it is meant to be a touring full suspension XC bike.
Both the Trek Fuel line-up and the Specialized Epic are worthy of considering as well.
Hardtail MTB's are a mixed bag of performance, recreation, niche, and retro cool... Companies seem so make them in every possible incarnation so you want to be clear with your intent. Spending $3k USD will open a lot of doors for you in the hardtail world but you may end up paying for un needed performance, or quirky cool. You just need a good quality, reliable, do everything ride. Hardtails will also come in all frame materials possible for $3k as well. I would stick to aluminum and chromoly options. Carbon is light and fancy, but it cannot be repaired roadside and carbon frames almost every have any braze-ons for mounting racks.
Kona makes some nice hardtails that are a mix of all the aforementioned attributes. The article I wrote, AM, XC, PLUS - What am I? A beginner's guide to who you are and what MTB to buy briefly runs through the different genres and their price points. For touring you do not have to spend any more than $1500 if you don't want to. If you still want to spend upwards of $1500 you have to be carful with you selections for the reasons I mentioned earlier. take a look at this Kona as it blends cool with performance and reliability: Kona Explosif
Salsa Bikes also have all sorts of road/hardtail blended bikes that you may find more appealing. I haven't spent enough time on some of their more obscure bike packing bikes to say how they would ride long term, but they do seem cool and well built.
Here is also a set of beefy road bikes to look at:
Surly Disc Trucker
Kona Rove Series
That should be enough to get you started. If you have any questions about specific models or anything don't hesitate to ask!