Different manufacturers seem to have different names, but I think the universal term is "fitness" bike. I think this type of bike is right up my alley. Mountain bikes are a bit too heavy for me although I do feel secure on them. Road bikes aren't quite sturdy enough for me, even in the road, as the roads around where I live in Metro Detroit, Downriver to be exact, aren't as smooth as I'd like them to be for biking. I do like the ability to go fast though. I still plan to ride in the road and on the sidewalks, but with a fitness bike, I think I'd feel more safe and secure.
Now, I want to know what others think of fitness bikes. I tried out a Giant FCR3 (actually a women's) today and liked it and I'm a guy. The shop did not have the men's version in stock. The shop I checked it out at sells it for $499. It seems just a bit overpriced though. Another store sells it for $480, but they closed at 7 PM today and I didn't get a chance to call and see if they had it in stock. I want to get a feel for other fitness bikes though and compare quality and prices.
The fitness bikes that nearby stores carry are Trek's FX series, Gary Fisher's Fast City, GT's Legato, Specialized Sirrus, and I'm sure others. I haven't checked around all of the bike shops, but then again, there aren't too many that are within a short driving distance (say 15 min drive or less).
Overall, my price range is about $300-$500. I've never really ridden seriously, so I'd need to purchase whatever else is needed--a helmet and whatever else.