I am in the market for my first new, fancy, real bike. I will use it for commuting and semi-leisurely semi-fast 20+ mile rides. I may use it for short tours. I could be convinced to get a commited road bike and continue commuting on my cheap costco comfort bike if that is a better deal.
I have been planning on a Surly cross check. I have been keeping an eye out for one on craigslist but these bikes get snapped up fast. My LBS is very pro Surly and said that the cross check is without a doubt the bike I am looking for. I keep poking around and finding other bikes that look pretty good, though. I test rode a Kona Honkey Tonk and loved it but it would be harder to commute on because of less clearance for tires, fenders etc. I looked at a Trek Lane, but they did not have one in my size. It looked like it did about the same thing as the cross check but I dont know how the components compare. Basically what I want is a steel frame that will be fun to ride and good for commuting and costs about 1000. Any other suggestions?