Hrm, It's not easy to build a bike for 1150 CAD (at least not with the parts I'd want), as you probably noticed
. There are some parts that are good and still not too expensive. I would have to say to look into
1.) Race face riser bars
2.) Hope XC rear hub
3.) Rhyno Lite rear rim (if you have problems with tires folding or ride much natural, then possibly look at a DX32)
4.) You can find a cheapie stem at your LBS I'm sure, it won't be the best (obviously) but it will get the job done until you can afford something better.
5.) Maybe you can go without a seat and seatpost? This is really personal preference, so it's up to you
6.) If you buy rim, hub and spokes from JensonUSA
you used to be able to get a free build (don't know if that is still their policy). I don't reckon the build would be the best, but if you could keep up with truing for the first few weeks, I think it'd be just fine.
7.) Brakes: I don't know if you have preference towards hydraulic, disc, or rim, so I'm guessing you're just a V-brake guy. You can get a set of shimano XTR levers from JensonUSA
for $60, and that is personally what I would do, then I would probably look for some cheaper calipers (like avid single digit 5s or something). I really can't stand the way avid levers feel, but if you don't mind them, you could save some money there.
This is by no means a complete list, but its all I could think of off the top of my head. You will almost definitely have to compromise on parts with your budget, and where you decide to go with parts is really up to you. You could go the used path, and save some money... but don't expect the parts to be mint or last for too long.
As far as the zebdi, I'm not aware of any problems with the newer models really, but there are definitely those more knowledgeable than I.
Places to find some cheap bike parts:
Places to get a fair price with the best service:
I hope this helps, and I hope it makes sense