Looking for a new commuter bike. Budget is ~$800 for the bike, but willing to go up to ~1k if worth it. I'm 5'11 170, ride is 5 miles each way (may increase to 10 with daycare) with a few minor hills. I'd put fenders and a rack on it, and would like to be able to attach a kiddie-trailer. I'm in Seattle, so was thinking disc brakes for better braking in the rain. Have heard that hydraulic brakes are the way to go now. Am thinking flat bar and triple crank since I want to be able to tow the kid to/from daycare. There seem to be a few options around, and was curious if anyone had any good way of distinguishing which of these (or others) might be a good way to go. Not sure why nearly every bike manufacturer decided black on black was the way to go this year...
Novara Big Buzz ($800, but 20% off through this weekend)
Jamis Coda Elite ($950)
Trek 7.4 FX Disc ($850)
Kona Dew Plus ($650)
Any major reasons to go with one over the others? The Jamis is steel, but more expensive. The Novara and Kona are cheaper, but I don't know enough about componentry to tell if they're cheap in a way that will matter. Test rode the Trek and liked the 20", haven't had a chance at the others yet. Are there other bikes in this range I should consider?