are there any advantages that an aluminium body brings to the tables over carbon frames?
I suppose you mean "apart from price"?
The other important differences are:
Lightness: Carbon is generally lighter, but not always. It is possible to buy alu frames that are lighter than some carbon frames.
Comfort: Generally, alu bikes are stiffer and less comfortable than carbon bikes.
Strength: Simply, metal bends and carbon breaks, but both can be repaired equally successfully these days!
Price!! Generally, like for like carbon frames will be more expensive.
The real questions is "will a carbon bike make a difference to YOU".
Well it is not depend of diameter of the wheels there is more variables to consider. Sames goes for the frame. There is high quality aluminium frames which are better that low quality "cheap" carbon (cheapest carbon frame bike perfectly can go up to 1000$).
Over all carbon beats aluminium it is lighter it stronger it more shock absorbent. But it far more expensive and it's more fragile. It you must be more careful in not hitting the frame.
There is different covers for frames. In mountain even small stones hits can damage the frame over time and make it fail over a big stress.
EDIT: I found a related question: What are the pros and cons between an aluminium and carbon frame?