I'm 6'5" tall, and about (cough) 400 lbs. Eons ago I used to ride and enjoyed it greatly; my last bike was a Bridgestone 400 (27" frame) I had purchased while in the USN (and substantially lighter...) in the mid-80's in San Diego; unfortunately it got stolen shortly after I was transferred to the S.F. Bay Area in '89 and I never replaced it.
What would be a wise choice for somebody my size starting out riding again? Lugged steel seems to be the strongest frame, but those don't seem to be made too much any more. I could of course go the Rivendell route, but that's a bit more than I'd want to pay for a first bike; preferred price range would be up to about $1200 or so.
No mountain bikes, I'm not interested in going off-road or in dealing with a suspension that can sag under my weight (I've heard this is a problem with the Kona Hoss for example). So it's a road bike or similar... and for frame sizes, they seem to be measured somewhat differently these days -- I even got into an argument with an arrogant putz at a bike shop in S.F. who proclaimed no manufacturer had *ever* constructed a frame larger than 60 cm (27" == 68cm... and I didn't buy a bike from his shop!). The 25" frames I've ridden in the past have been too short, resulting in insufficient leg extension, or the need for a longer seat tube.
A while back I did find a 'Caruso' 27" road bike, lugged steel, on craigslist and even bought it, but I've been afraid to ride it as it was supposedly constructed in the '70's and I fear I could crack the frame; at the very least I'd probably need to replace the wheels with something wider than the 1-1/4 in rims/tires it's currently set up with. I'd rather find something new and very heavily built, for a sense of confidence it won't be destroyed in my first few months of riding...