I just bought a surly cross-check frameset on ebay. I decided on this frameset because it gives me lots of options...I could build it up as a cross bike, a low-end road bike, fixed gear....anything. I could build the bike from scratch, in which I would most likely use cheap components, since I want to keep the price of the bike under 1k if I go this route.
The other Idea I've had is that I have a specialized sequoia elite, and I have thought that maybe I would put all/some parts from that bike, all shimano 105, on the cross check, and replace the parts by upgrading the sequoia elite to ultegra/dura-ace componants. That way I would be building up the cross-check and building a better road bike at the same time, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. But this option is also the most expensive.