After having my carbon fiber roadbike creamed by a hit and run driver, I am in the process of replacing it with a flat bar hybrid and have been looking within my budget (~$1100). I do commute a couple of days a week, ride for an hour or so a couple of evenings a week and try to get in a longer ride on both Weekend days....not really a fair weather biker, but will not commute with more than an inch of fresh snow.
In looking at bikes, I have found that I can get a bike from a well known company with a great frame and ok components (ie Trek 7.6fx or Sirrus Comp) or I can get a bike from a not so well known company, questionable frame but better components (ie Jamis Coda Elite or Fuji Absolute 1.0).
So my question is, do I look at investing the money in the frame knowing that the components are OK and expect to replace them over time....or do I not worry about the frame so much and focus on ensuring that I am getting a better system of components? Since I found that I need a small bike (was a shocker) or 17.5, the bikes I have had a chance to ride feel comfortable and I really haven't had a chance to ride all of the bikes in the same configuration, I just am trying to figure out where to make the trade off....frame or components? This should help focus me on what to spend time on to find the bike and then ride it.