Did the bike provide additional attention? You bet! I loved it when I passed people and I heard such things as "cool bike!"
Mud factor? I don't think there was anymore mud collected on the frame than with a full tube bike.
I had a sore back from last years race on the full suspension which I did not have this year (Old Pueblo 24 hr Race).
Independent blog by rider: http://www.arantix-doc.blogspot.com/