I'm thinking of getting a commuter bike. I like the Trex FX and Specialized Sirrus, they seem like really nice bikes. But I'm thinking of maybe building one up, trolling Craigslist and the local coops for a good frame and going from there. I was hoping for any recommendations on a bike or frame from the 90's or 2000's that while not originally marketed as a 'commuter' would be a good fit. I'd like to have the ability to install a pannier on the back and possibly fenders (however I doubt I'd ride in the rain). Lightweight enough to pick up and carry on my shoulders would be nice.
Also, what would be the ideal wheel sizing? I've thought 700C, but my current road bike has 700 x 25 tires and those don't seem to be up to the task of potholes, curbs, etc.
While the Trek and Specialized bikes seem affordable enough, I thought if I looked for a suitable steel frame bike 10 years old or so, I might not only get the pleasure of building it up, but might also come out under $200.