I'm on something of a budget, and looking for my first road bike, for the purpose of commuting in an urban/suburban environment. The commutes will be short (< 2 miles).
Can anyone comment on the difference between a ~$600 bike (such as the ones mentioned by FlatSix here versus cheaper ones (eg, this - sorry if you think this is sacrilege).
I'm not really interested in riding it terribly long distances or for sport, so is there a reason to buy a more expensive one? Optimally, I'd love to buy a used one, but I'm definitely not convinced of my ability to differentiate wear on a bike, and am looking for something which should work with little initial work put in.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.