For the past couple years my wife and I have done credit card tours that range from two days to two weeks long. Last year I decided I needed something more suitable than a hybrid for the longer trips.
After a lot of researching and analyzing I settled on a Surly LHT like this one ( http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html ) and changed the following:
I wanted a more upright riding position and flat bars. I changed to flat bars with bar ends, and raised them with a 3 inch stem raiser. The barcon shifters were mounted on the flat bars with Paul's Thumbies.
I wanted a lower granny gear. The small chain ring was replaced with a 24 rather than 26 tooth ring. The chain rings are now 48/36/24
We ride some gravel roads, so I changed to a more general surface tire ... 26 x 1.75 Continental Travel Contacts replaced the stock 26 X 1.50 WTB Slickasaurus
I added a Topeak rear rack and an Old Man Mountain AC Low rider front rack and Arkel bags.
Here it is, bagged out on a recent trip.