I have a mountain bike and a tourer. I'm happy with both. Now I'm looking to add a faster, lighter road bike to my stable - one I can ride around home and in centuries. I'd like something light, but I have no desire to race. I want something comfortable enough for all day in the saddle. I won't be loading it down and taking it on tour, but I'll want to carry a sandwich, a book, a multitool, and a spare tube. I don't have multiple thousands to spend, but my wife will probably let me get away with something in the $1500 range. I'm leaning towards a double crankset with a fairly wide range cassette in back. I want to go fast on flats (faster than my tourer) but still be able to get up steep hills.
Carbon fiber would probably be nice for the vibration damping and lightness, but may be too pricey. I thought maybe an aluminum frame with carbon seatstays??? I've also seen some models with curved aluminum seatstays to absorb some vibration.
I know several of the big companies offer models aimed toward someone like me.
Any specific recommendations?