Don't know what got over me, I just thought one day last week that riding a bike seemed like it would be fun. Searced out and read as much as I could understand on this forum and decided a hybrid made sense. Being middle aged (ugh) and not on a bike for at least 20 years, I thought I would appreciate all the comfort I could get. Test drove several models at local bike shops. That would be my source based on everyone's advice to make sure you had access to knowledge and service.
Don't really know what debates would be sparked in discussing the various component brands and models, but was able to notice that regardless of brands I saw, as price went up so did the types of components. I didn't buy my Mercedes because it had a bosch alternator, and I figuged that one specific item should be the be all and end all of a bike.
One feature I liked if given the choice was the trigger shifting mechanism. I couldn't really tell a difference between brakes, gears, derailers, etc. I think given any particular price range, it really boiled down to fit and looks.
Long story short I chose the Raleigh Passage 5.0 because it had all the comforts I was looking for, fit well , had the shifters I preferred and even had disc brakes (not sure how much of a plus they will be). I have to wait about 10 days to get it so I will start to pick up the little accessories I may need.
The biggest downside of all is the lousy traffic with unobservant and aggressive drivers filling the roads. Trails seem scarce, so I will restrict my self to neighborhood roads until I get confident to venture out more.
I'll keep reading and probably asking specific questions once I get riding.