I am personally a big fan of Giant Halfway bikes, but time went buy and I think for the same $$ you can get better technology and a bike that goes faster, more confortable and stops better. Unless you can get the Rear Suspension version, really difficult to spot in the USA, I would suggest go with another brand.
I have had my 1/2way for close to two years and have commuted from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan (8mi) weekdays all that time. Commuting in NYC for me is a search for the streets that will allow me to spend the most time actually in the saddle pedalling than in the air bouncing over potholes. The Giant handles all that NYC's worst roads can throw at us with aplomb. I only flatted for the first time last week!! With the single sided fork and rear end fixing a flat is easier actually. Changing a tire would be hard because there isn't any quick release to open the brakes so if there is a 'trick' to changing tires it would be to have a '3rd Hand' brake tool in your toolkit. Speaking of the brakes, they are high effort but high effort also means controllable (modulation) and that suits my riding style very well. Two fingered stopping power is all the rage but it is pretty much an all or nothing deal. Yes I think about the only improvement that could be made to the 1/2way would be more speeds on the high end. The 8 or better yet 9 speed cassette substitution is a worthwhile project.