I picked up a new 2010 Cannondale CAAD8 road bike about a month ago on closeout. It is a sweet bike. Fast and light. I also have a 2008 Trek 7.2FX. The more I ride my Cannondale, the more I like my Trek.
Don't get me wrong here. I like the Cannondale. It is doing exactly what it was designed for. It goes fast and I can use it on group rides. The miles (when you have open road) peel away much faster than on my Trek.
Here is the problem: A hybrid is a normal self-contained bike. You get on it in just about anything you are wearing at the time and just go.
The road bike is more like a piece of a system that includes the bike, you, your clothes (awful and very specialized) and your shoes (cleated). There is limited to no storage, and trying to secure the bicycle means adding almost 20% of the bike's weight in a simple U-lock. Some people say to forego the lock and never let the bicycle leave your sight. That's not very convenient.
The hybrid has pedals that can accept the bike shoes or street shoes, doesn't hurt at all when I sit on it for extended periods, has a Topeak quick-latch rack and pannier system that it just awesome, handles about 50% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and the Farmer's market, etc, etc. I choose to wear certain shorts ($10 nylon ones at Target) and underwear (UnderArmour Heat compression shorts), but it really is not a requirement like bike shorts on the Cannondale.
At this point, if I had to go back to only having one bike, it would be the three-year-old Trek rather than the brand-new Cannondale. The strange thing is that it isn't even a close decision.
I had an MTB before hybrid (years ago) and the change from MTB to hybrid seemed very incremental. The change between hybrid and road bike seems more involved.
Is this just me or is there a HUGE jump between hybrids and road bikes?