I'm a 51-year old, reasonably fit newbie man (new to cycling, not manhood) looking to buy a bike to commute to work, and the occasional recreational cycle. I'm in Vancouver where it's hilly and wet, though I'd be taking transit on really wet days. The commute is about 10km each way (6.2 miles), downhill going, uphill returning. I've been doing it on my old Raleigh Superbe three-speed, but am now ready for some newer technology. I'll keep the bike (sentimental reasons - belonged to my dog - long story), and will still commute on wetter days with it (very good fenders and chain guard), but am looking at buying a 2011 Kona Phd: http://2011.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=phd.
I'm 5'9", fairly proportionate (not sure of my inseam) and weigh 160lbs. I think I would take a 53cm frame, (just under 21"). Depending on the size/availability, I think it will cost between $1000 and $1300 (am I allowed to quote prices here?). My commute will be on almost exclusively paved roads.
Saw a 2007 Jamis Coda Elite on Craigslist for $600. Would love to get it, but it is a 21.5" frame, and likely too large for me. Can't seem to find Jamis here - no dedicated dealers? Other possibilities I've researched are Kona Dr. Dew, and the Specialized Sirrus line. Have also been using my sister-in-law's Trek FX 7.2, and the 40 year difference in technology between it and my old Raleigh is phenomenal. But I find the bike harder on my hands and butt than my comfy Raleigh, despite the old technology.
I know, I know - need to get out and ride some bikes to really decide. I did try the Phd last fall, and really liked it. Am going to try it again this weekend, but jumping the gun here to tap the expertise and experience of people on this forum. Any thoughts are much appreciated.