I had an '05 specialized crossroads XC. It worked okay, but was AL and had a cheap suspension fork. It was heavy beyond belief, and the trigger shifting was picky. Worst of all, it wouldn't trigger traffic lights, so I often sat waiting for cars or nervously running lights. I started my search for a steel upright bike. I asked in the mtn bike thread and they gave me 1k+ bikes, or 1k+ bikes being sold at $800. My budget was $600. I then found a place in town that does bike trade-ins and has a large used inventory. What I found blew me away.
They had a NOS Gary Fisher triple butted cromoly Nirvana rigid mtn bike that they built up with XT SIS thumb shifters (FD shifter is friction, RD shifter is indexed, with a switch to make it friction). XT RD, tectro v-brakes and one heckuva smooth ride. I still want to put a rack on it, as well as some cane creek ergo grips, but for the most part, she is as she will be.
Here are some pics (I'm not a photographer): (the last pic is the hybrid I traded)