I've been on the same ride (Diamond Back mtn bike) for 16 years, so when I decided to buy a new bike for my 50th birthday it was an interesting foray into the world of bikes. I identified my needs -- casual rider of about 1,000 miles per season, avg. ride of 10-15 miles 2-3 times a week, longer on weekends, western Colorado with lots of flats, with some big "hills" in between so low gearing a must, mostly paved routes but like the odd dirt path or forest road, want to do some touring and goal of a century ride this year. Did my research and settled on 3-4 different brands and started visiting bike shops within a 50-mile radius.
After kicking tires and joyriding around parking lots, I really liked the Trek 7.5 FX, but the only one available to ride was the WSD. LBS said they could order one in, if I didn't like it, I could try something else so I went for it. A couple of days later the LBS called . . . frame was out of stock, but they would make a great deal on the 7.6 FX and would swap out the crank/cassette to give me the gearing I wanted. But I needed to make the decision quickly before it was also out of stock.
Lighter bike, cool red color, good price . . . I said go for it! My wife called it my mid-life crisis red convertible.
The LBS dropped the ball and did not order in time so now I'm stuck waiting until the 2007 production run begins in late Aug. or early Sept. I checked the other shops to see if the other models I considered were available -- same story. Out of stock until '07 models come out. Apparently this is fairly common for popular brands? I never thought it would be this hard to buy a bike.
Anyway, now it's like Christmas, waiting for that shiny red bike to arrive under the tree!