Yes, the 26" wheel is not dead and here's the second frame of this type I have built in the last few weeks.
There are a couple of newer features here-the most obvious is the tapered steerer steel fork. This is the first one I have made and I'm sure not the last. Paragon Machine works makes the steerer and it streamlines the build process of the fork a little.
Like all the other MTB frames I build this one has the wishbone seatstay and the headtube gusset.
Here's a view of the fork by itself. It isn't the lightest fork but it is a full pound lighter than a Rock Shox Sid XX.