Greetings from Non-Sunny San Diego!
I have been checking out this site "behind the scenes" for some time and it is a good source of information. I am not a "serious" rider, but usually commute ~25 mi. R/T to work on casual Friday. On the weekend I like to do a longer ride, usually up the coast. When the trails are dry I ride the mtn. bikes as well. I have 2 road bikes and 2 mtn. bikes. The road runners are both Trek - a 2300 (carbon), and a 560 cro-moly, both are stock. The mtn. bikes are both GT Karakorams and have been upgraded to XT derailleurs and v-brakes as well as front shocks. They do the job for me and handle very well. Only one of the bikes was purchased new (a GT Karakoram), back in '95. This was before craigslist. As time goes on and I improve I will do longer and more challenging rides. Someday perhaps some touring as I have found no better way to see a place than on a bike. I am breaking in a new Brooks B17 Champion and not sure if the saddle is being broken in or my behind (likely a combination of both). Either way "it" gets more comfortable every ride.