Manufacturers have my number, I guess. I already have too many bikes for a one bedroom apartment, but Raleigh, Fisher, and Surly are tempting me.
1) Gary Fisher Simple City. Wow. I realize it's probably overpriced, and probably doesn't carry a front load nearly as well as a Kogswell, but the price on the SC is much lower than a P/R, and I wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of picking each component. The SC looks to be a turnkey solution, and would be an IDEAL shopping bike. Finally, a bike I can get 21 pound cat litter container home with.
2)Raleigh One Way, 2008 model. You have to give Raleigh credit on this one. Singlespeed with a Brooks saddle, Brooks bar tape, and fenders for $750 or so. I think a single speed would be a lot of fun, and since it comes with a flip flop hub I could try riding fixed(but I really have no interest in fixed). No derailleurs means simple to deal with. Plus I think it's close to the color of my Gunnar. All I would need to add to it is a Carradice bag and my light and it could even be a backup commuter.
3) Raleigh Sojourn. I've had a jones for a full-on touring bike, and I was considering the Surly Long Haul Trucker, but the Sojourn appears to be a better deal. Yes, I know the component spec on the Raleigh may be lacking, but for a bike with this spec to be prices at 1100 dollars is pretty decent. It comes with a B17, Brooks bar tape, WTB dirt drop bars, and what appears to be a Tubus Cargo(or knockoff) rack. I like the disc brake spec---this would make an excellent rain bike.
4) Surly Long Haul Trucker. By all accounts this is the best touring bike on the market. Very good parts spec and low price(Jenson sells them for $900 with free shipping) but I would still have to buy a rack, bags, fenders, and a Brooks B17. So by the time I did that it would be more expensive than the Sojourn. The Surly does have one thing in its favor----my size LHT comes with 26 inch wheels. Like that a lot, and would open up some new commuting routes for me.
ARRGH. I'm not super concerned with money, because I would likely sell my Surly Pacer to partially finance the purchase of one or two of these. The Simple City, Sojourn, or LHT would be pressed into grocery bike status, but I could also commute on the Sojourn or LHT. My route is very long and drop bars would be a necessity. The One Way could do it too, but some hills would kick my butt on a single speed.
It's really cool that these manufacturers are putting R & D money into something besides ultra light race bikes.