Dawes make a nice hybrid bike, esp with ridgid forks for simplicty.
You need to budget for rack, mudguards, repair kit, helmet, lights etc.
Tyres are one area for a quick and easy upgarde at the shop. If the stock tyres are kevlar banded then they are OK, otherwise switch them.
The wheel-build of any entry-level bike can be suspect so a good bike shop will check this. Are you buying from a proper bike shop?
I was planning to buy from a proper bike shop, yes.
What is the advantage of kevlar branded tyres?
I'm looking for a good bike for my money, but I'm not really sure what constitutes a good bike. I know I want a light weight one, but not sure what else. I don't need a huge amount of gears and I'm not sure about suspension.