I got a Specialized Sirrus (base model) for $499 recently, moved all of my racks, bottles, lights over to it, and it is a sweet ride. Quick, yet very comfy.
I was concerned about 100 psi 28 mm tires, I had been running 80 psi 26 x 1.5 inch Nimbus Armadillos on my old mountain bike, and thought I maybe couldn't go narrower given Houston's awful roads and bike lanes, but the frame, fork and suspension seatpost make the Sirrus more comfy than the old fat tired bike.
I upgraded it to 28 mm All-Condition Armadillos. Again, I was wondering about traction in the city with essentially a tread-less tire, but it's been fine. And the slick tire doesn't pick up quite as much glass and junk as the small little Nimbus Armadillo treads.
Life is good!