So you are riding on something paved or is it dirt?
I've not ridden a road bike before so I really cannot say anything about them. Others should be able to offer more insight.
If you have $500 to spend, my advice is to stay away from Target. Target bikes typically only come in one size for each model; so even if you find one you like, and it ends up it doesn' fit well, you're probably going to hate it and not ride it. Other reasons not to buy it are that it might not be very durable and repairs may not be possible due to proprietary parts or fiscal reasons if it costs more than the bike.
Hybrids come in many forms. Some of them are upright, some have something closer to mountain bike geometry with mountain or road components, or a mix. The gearing can be anywhere between mountain bike and road bike. Some use 26" wheels and others use 700c road wheels. Some have bar ends to get you in a more forward position. Go to some bike shops, take a few rides, and see what works for you comfort and speed wise.
My Trek 7.5FX is kind of a all-arounder. It has mountain bike geometry, mountain bike components, and road sized wheels with 32mm tires. I don't ride more than about 9 miles at a time to go to work so I have no idea what it would be like to ride 60 miles. Even then, I'm stopping every 500 ft or so for traffic lights/stop signs, buses, cars, rail vehicles, etc.
Even though it's April, you may be able to find some 2010 bikes left over at some bike shops at a discount. You might find discounts as much as 20-25% on 2010s and perhaps even higher for 2009 and older.