So I'm down to the wire on buying my new bike (saved and now its time to enjoy the profit of riding)
It's down to two bikes
Surly LHT (My dream bike. Something I've done a lot of research, talked to a lot of folks and really just am impressed with this bike all around. I have a Karate Monkey and couldn't be happier with it)
2010 Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw. I know it seems odd, but this bike looks REALLY sharp and offers the disc brake setup I wanted on a road bike. The only problem I have with this bike is I hate (HATE) the fork. I'm not a fan of carbon fiber. At a wet/dry weight of between 185/225 lbs. depending on the time of the year, and what I'm doing, I don't want a fork that is going to break down on me.
Here's the catch. I use my bike for everything. I ride to work, school, grocery store. I'm looking into a trailer and my wife has even agreed NOT to utilize her mini-van anymore than we absolutely need to. So what that means is that the bike has to either hold up to a load on a rear rack, or be stable enough to hold me+my backpack with anywhere from 15-45 lbs. of junk/books/food at any given time.
So my question - which would you jump on? There is a $200ish dollar difference. I figure I might put my money where my mouth is and be able to give a valid report on the strengths of the BD.com bike under commuter/lifestyle use.