Some things I just can`t handle - cheap pedals, uncomfortable grips and most stock saddles. So if a basic hybrid costs about $600 and a reasonable set of pedals costs between $35 and $65, a set of Ergons between $45 and $75 and a Brooks saddle between $200 and $400 depending on the model and a good set of fenders about $50 - there`s really no such thing as a cheap bike - just a stripped down bike IMO.
Yup - those really are my priorities and I`d be almost as happy riding a basic hybrid so equipped as I would any high end performance hybrid so equipped.
Oh yeah - I forgot to mention tires. Please - no $15 tires. Whats wrong with decent tires with puncture protection built in stock on the bike? Schwalbes have to be cheaper when provided as OEM equipment and bought in bulk!