OK guys, I've browsed through the CX forum a bit (I spend more time other forums) and I didn't come across anything like this right away, so my apologies if this has already been discussed ad nauseum.
Here's my situation: I ordered a Monk frame from Soul Cycles on closeout for $130 on thursday or so. Just tonight they notified me that they are out of stock in my size. They may have more in late august when they repaint the frames with botched finishes or something like that, but no promises.
This is quite the bummer since I already ordered some Paul touring canti's and CX levers, a headset, and a stem.
So I'm looking to get a cross frame without dumping a lot of cash. I'm looking for something that is more classic looking. I am familiar with the Surly Crosscheck, which is nice, and especially affordable since I work in a bike shop (QBP deals all the Surly stuff). I'm REALLY digging the Soma Doublecross, but it's about $470 for frame and fork, not including shipping. Spicer has a nice Al CX frame for $350, powdercoated in "any stock color", no fork.
So bottom line, what other companies (smaller ones?) make a cross frame that isn't going to break the bank, and is NOT painted safety orange or some other loud color? (something like black or a dark green, or similar preferred)
I am looking for a frame alone, not a built bike. Sub-$500 is mandatory. Sub-$400 is ideal. Sub-$300 is friggin awesome as long as it doesn't suck.
This bike will be used for 1-3 day rides/tours on crushed limestone, road, and possibly dirt paths.