well, I am very biased but I would suggest you consider the Trek DS 8.5.
front shocks to eliminate the vibration - check,
remote switch on your bar to lock off the front shock when the mood strikes you - check,
flat bars - check,
hydraulic brakes - check,
and it is right in your budget at $1k.
Seriously though, you will get lots of opinions suggesting front shocks are unnecessary and just add unnecessary weight to the bike. That advice is sincere but may or may not apply to you. A person who rides only on flat, smooth pavement would likely get little benefit from the front shock so I understand that advice.
Me? I am an active 43 y/o, with chronic nerve damage in my back and neck (unsuccessful back surgery Sept '10). I commute and ride everyday on bad roads. For me, in my situation, the reduced vibration and added comfort on the arms and shoulders make it possible for me to be on a bike. Throw in the remote lock-off on the 8.5 and I've got the best of both worlds.
Anyway, take all advice in context, apply it to your own situation and enjoy the adventure that a new bike brings.
Last edited by derf36; 08-30-11 at 09:38 PM.