Okay, stop laughing. You all knew this was coming. I can't stop. I want another vintage ride, but I don't know what to buy.
Here are my thoughts: I'd like a bit of a project bike, something to take apart, clean up and learn with, so it needs to be something I can reasonably tackle cleaning/servicing myself. It should be a road or touring bike, as I have the '69 Sports, and I don't need another English 3-speed. Something I can ride 30 miles without my legs falling off, as they would with the Sports. I'd like it to be under $100, but I'd pay up to $200 for something pretty.
I say I'd like vintage steel, but I see a lot of Raleigh Techniums around, and hear they're nice. I like old machines. Nothing new, please (unless someone's got a Clubman for under $200 they'd like to sell me... saw one of those in the shop today and oh, are they pretty! But I digress).
Biggest problems: I'm a girl (which isn't normally a disadvantage, necessarily). I need something small, as I'm 5'5" and have a 31" inseam. Therefore, the frame needs a step-over no more than what... 30"? Not a lot of small, cheap road bikes floating around. What's more, I'm a newbie, so I probably can't do something finicky and French. I don't want to sink more than a couple hundred into it, and I'd like that money to be spent mostly on pretty-ing it up, rather than repairing major problems. Finally, I live in the Seattle area, which is a very pricey world for bikes (though of course now there are cheap Sports everywhere, since I already bought mine. Ain't that just the way?).
Thoughts on what brands/models I should look for? Am I dreaming? Can the above be achieved? The boys at work all suggested Trek 520s, but they aren't exactly a dime a dozen around here, much less cheap. I'm willing to pay eBay folks to ship to me if the bike is a great deal. What do you folks think?