new bike advice for short/long distance and road/dirt
I am in the market for a new bike and I am looking to gather all the info I can. I am not really sure where my question fits in (its a bit commuter, road, and touring). Essentially I am looking for something in the range of $400-500 to ride two to three times a week approx. 10-20mi each trip. But I would like it to be flexible enough to do longer 60-80mi rides which I plan to do once a month. I would like it to be efficient in that sense, while still comfortable. It will be mostly roads/asphalt, but I know I will be encountering some hard dirt trails/roads as well which is why I am shying away from a straight road bike.
I have not gotten to ride anything yet, but after visiting the local shops the Kona Dew, Marin Larkspur, and Trek 7.2fx look to be at the top of my list. If anyone has any riding experience(s) with these I would love to hear it. The only major upgrade I think I will need to make will be adding trekking bars. I am 150lb, 5' 9.
Thanks very much for any opinions.