I am now starting to get into road cycling and want to advance up to a lot more long distance and eventually a century (like most people). I have been riding on a friends road bike for a while and like it and now deciding its time to get one of my own. The only problem is my head is just overwhelmed with options and types, etc. I'm not trying to go on the cheap side or the most expensive side something in the middle ($1000-$1300). I know its my first but it's an investment for the future since I am serious about getting into this sport. Some local bikes shops around carry Schwinn, Trek, Scott, Giant...... One bike I was looking at was a SCOTT Speedster S40, just one of the many. Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated since I think this is the right place to ask this type of question.
You no doubt have already noticed that decent roadsters tend to cost more than decent mountain bikes or hybrids. Mostly due to the frame, which has to have a nice balance between being stiff and being comfortable. No suspension to soak up bumps....
You should be able to get a decent roadster in that ballpark figure, especially if you're looking at year-end closeouts. A lot of dealers are eager to get rid of "last year's" stuff to make room for new models.
I would say go look at them all. See what sort of spec (components) you're getting for your money, and see if the dealer is willing to see you're getting a bike you'll be happy with rather than just making a sale.
Likely you're going to be looking for an aluminum-framed bike in that range, though some of these now have carbon-fiber inserts at the rear triangle for a little flex.