I bought my first bike at 26. Kind of cost me half an arm. It's alright, looks pretty, rides pretty good, is pretty fast. But I'm not satisfied with it, front derailer is tiagra and shifts crappy.
Now that I get to maintain it, the whole thing is just way to simple. My next ride, such as if I decide to race, I build my self. Should be cheaper..
You buy frame and fork, and right there you got a bike. The rest is just adding components, and there you can go with best bang for the buck and have what you want. It looks expensive when you throw in retail prices, but go on eBay and flea market, and you can build a nice bike, the one you really want..
The one I really want cost 2 grand, and it's not even a brand name. Motobecane, made in taiwan. Which is nothing wrong with. Full carbon, highest end shimano, nice wheels. Except I want it in 30 speeds, not 20..
I have a same pet peeve with cars. Give me optioned out Saleen I still want more.