Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cincinnati Ohio
Suspensions are often a bad choice for on road use. And with bigger guys, they tend to bottom out and not work as well.
The Trek 8.3 is about 670, so is that about what your budget is? If so, look into a 7.3, or a 7.2. I don't think the 7.3 offers enough substantial upgrades to justify the extra money. When you buy a new bike don't forget you will need a lot of accessories. Floor pump, bags, frame pumps, water bottle and cage, etc.
I would buy a standard hybrid without a suspension, or if you want a road bike look around for a touring bike. With a bike, you might have a problem with the rear wheel, if so you can switch out the rear wheel for one with 36 spokes.
And welcome to the forums.