I'm going to be buying my first road bike very soon but can't decide which one. I've decided on a cyclocross bike for commuting, recreation, and fitness. My budget is about $1200 and I'd prefer to buy locally. The only problem is almost nobody stocks CX bikes locally. There is a small shop which normally has Jakes or Cross Checks in stock but doesn't have any at the moment. The Trek store has some Crossrips and I tested an Elite, but even after riding it I can't tell if it really fits or not. The biggest they had was a 58cm and I'm 6'3 with a 36" inseam so I'm leaning towards the 61. The Crossrip seems to have everything I could want on the frame, but I keep reading that they're pricey for the components that come on it. They're going for $1000 (comp) and $1150 (elite). The local Norco dealer didn't know anything about the Threshold but he did say he could get me an A2 for $1000 (carbon fork, disc brakes, and Tiagra for $1k!) but this is a small shop geared towards mountain bikes so I'm not sure about the level of post-purchase support there. I'm going to try to check out the Cannondale and Giant (also sells Redline) shops but I'm assuming there won't be any Giant or Redline CX bikes in stock and the Cannondale will probably be a little too pricey (not to mention the last time I was in that shop the salesman seemed to want to get rid of me).
So I guess my question is will the Crossrip Comp/Elite be a solid choice? If so, is it worth going up to the Elite for $150? They have two shops in town and seem nice so I'm not worried about the level of support from them. The Cannondale guys also have two shops in town and the Kona/Surly shop is really small but they seem very sharp. Should I see if the other shops can get something in for me to test (I don't know how they deal with ordering bikes that the customer decides not to buy)? And when testing a bike what should I be looking for in terms of fit?