Pants are for suckaz
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
As Condorita said, no one will be able to tell you which bike is best for you. Your budget seems to be realistic so there are a few different road bikes and performance hybrids available in that price range. I sugest you go to your local bike shop (or shops if there are several) and speak with them about your budget and the type of riding you hope to do. More important than buying a bike you will be happy with is finding a shop that can help you on your path to cycling nirvana.
Good luck and happy pedaling!
*Don't forget to allow extra $$$ for a helmet, a bike pump, gloves, and maybe even some luxery items like cycling shorts, clipless pedals, or a handleber bell.