I have it down to a Specialized Carmel 1 (or 3), a Giant Cypress, or a Trek FX. (I tried the Trek 7200 but preferred the Carmel and Cypress.) Obviously I'm trying to stay under $500 here, and that unfortunately needs to be a firm figure. This is for roads, paved trails, and sidewalks. We don't have really beaten up sidewalks, but it'd be nice to be able to handle uneven spots.
I'd especially appreciate comments from those who've compared these. I realize that the FX isn't exactly a hybrid, but a lot of people seem to like them and use them as they do hybrids. I've seen lots of reviews of the FX (and the 7200), but few of the Cypress and almost nothing on the Carmel (seems like no one owns the latter).