Last edited by akcapbikeforums; 12-07-08 at 01:21 AM.
The Quick-4 looks like a decent bike. Personally, I think that Trek has better value in their hybrid bikes. Take a look at the FX series. I'm sure you could get a 2008 FX 7.3 for less than that.
Both the Cannondale and the Trek have 700c/road bike sized wheels. I'm not sure how tall you and your wife are, but a lot of people who are shorter than 5'7" are happier on 26"/moutain bike sized wheels. They make a decent selection of hybrid/road tires for 26" wheels that are pretty cheap, cheaper than road bike sized wheels by comparison.
If you were going to go the 26" route, then look at the Trek Navigator series. The top end model goes for about $500 or less. My friend's wife has one of these and loves it.
That being said, any one of your options is going to be good. Whatever you buy will be a major upgrade for you and you'll be thrilled. Try another bike shop. Maybe you'll like the folks better and they'll be more helpful.
If its fast you want, then skip the hybrid and go for the road bike. I sense a feeling that road bikes and comfort are not compatible. Some riders use a flipped stem and head tube spacers to bring the bars up.
The wheelsets for road bikes are more plentiful, if its speed you want.
The price range of $600.00 each will be a problem for road bikes. But at your ages, biking is more than just a sport, its practicing preventitive medicine.
If I had to get an entry level road bike, I would consider the Felt F-75. Try this review:
Everyone is different, but personally I find road bikes far more comfortable than "comfort bikes". Comfort bikes are great if you don't ride much or far, but a road bike is more comfortable once you are acclimated to the more aggressive posture. This becomes more true the more often and farther you ride.
For the type of riding you describe I would avoid suspension.
Of course on all of this, YMMV.
Whatever you buy I hope it works out well.
Check one of these out. Upright riding position, light, road tires, 27 speeds, and steel to absorb bumps.