Not sure if this is the correct place to post but here goes. I'm currently riding a BikeE recumbent but for reasons of wanting something a little less attention grabbing, and more versatile, I'm wanting a new bike. However, I know very little about modern bikes and what all is available.
I'd want the bike primarily for commuting. Most of my time will be spent on pavement but I'd like the bike to be capable of riding on gravel washboardy roads too. A soft ride is appealing to me so I'm guessing, at the very least, front suspension is in order. A nice, wide and cushy seat is a must. Basically, I want good comfort in all aspects. Carrying capacity is a must as well...but I don't believe I need an Xtracycle style cargo bike. I'd like the ability to carry several bags of groceries or the like. I would assume this can be done with a rack and some panniers.
Lastly is money. I like quality things but don't feel I need high end here. I won't be riding daily but more like an average of 5 miles three times weekly. I'd prefer to keep it under $600 if possible.
With all that said, which bikes should I be looking at?