I've started commuting again, a bit over 6 miles each way. I had a three year break when I was responsible for driving my son to and from school, and driving my bike wasn't an option. Now he drives himself, and I have my freedom to ride back .
My current ride is a 2002 Jamis Aurora with a rear rack and panniers.
I also have a 20 year old mountain bike, but it has a slightly bent front fork after being run over when stopped at a stop sign 7 years ago, so it doesn't ride straight