I'm new to cycling (in my second year after a twenty some year layoff) and it's been great. I've built a bike and now I'm on my second used road bike. It's time to buy a new bike. My LBS is pushing Trek and Opus - especially Opus. I now ride a used Opus Allegro. I was looking at Fuji - based on Bicycling magazine buyers guide they are stiff and light. My LBS didn't have much good to say - not durable he said and didn't recommend at all. I've got about $2,500 to 3,000 to spend for next spring, so doing my homework over next 2-3 months. Apparently I can save a few dollars by placing an order in September. Anyone riding a Fuji and how do you like it? It is fair to request my LBS order in a Fuji so I can try it? They normally don't carry that line of bikes.
I'm looking for something with a stiff frame...I'm 5'9", 190lbs and hopefully dropping. I plan to ride about 3,000km per year and the roads are a bit rough in spots. There are a number a challenging hills - challenging for me and I think a compact crank is best. No racing but I do train hard and our club rides are mostly friendly races. Any advice on best brands in the $2,500 to $3,000 range?