Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Logan, UT
Bikes: one bike for every day of the week
Raleigh = compact crank, more traditional frame
Felt = triple crank, more compact frame
The Felt will give you more climbing gears and more closely spaced gearing for finding the ideal cadence. The Raleigh will likely shift a bit better.
I personally would beg, borrow, or steal the extra few hundred for a compact 18 speed drivetrain if you hope to be getting faster and faster and hanging with the racer boys. If you eventually hope to do longer supported touring type day in and day out 100+ km rides then beg, borrow, or steal the extra few hundred for a 27 speed triple drivetrain. Both options will be more upgradeable as things wear out. 16/24 speed means you're stuck with older Sora parts unless you want to replace several things all at once. 18/27 speed means parts can be replaced with NOS or nearly new 105 and Ultegra down the line.