I am getting a new bike soon, and am not sure whether to get a cyclocross bike or not. I do do some trail riding, currently on my only bike (Trek 3500), and like the idea of cyclocross. Also, there are long winters here, and I could use my new bike all year 'round with if I got a cross bike. I don't want to sacrifice tons of speed though, and would be willing to use my MTB in the winter.
Although, I would be more inclined to train in the winter with a 'cross bike...
I don't really understand the difference between a cyclocross bike and a road bike, except there is more clearance for mud. I was told at my LBS that there would be a significant difference in speed between the road bike and cross bike though. The two bikes he showed me in my (entry-level) price point were the Specialized Allez and Kona Jake.
So, how much faster would a road bike be?