Bike Commuter in training
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA
Bikes: '77 Centurion Semi-Pro, '88 Fuji Saratoga, '12 Jamis Sputnik, '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc
^ Yup. Ride as many candidates as you can. The one that feels most comfortable to you - and the one where the bike shop takes the time to listen, adjust things, and help - that's probably the one to get. These are all pretty close pricewise.
I've only seen the Giant Escape in person, while at a shop on other business (waiting) and I commented to the bike store how well equipped it was at its price point. I just recommended it to a friend for his college graduate daughter to try.