I can't bring myself to pay 1k+ for a bike without riding it first to see whether I like it or not.
I live near Washington DC, and it looks like I can find the Bianchi cyclocross bikes, the Lemond Poprad, the Specialized bikes, some of the mid-high Redline bikes, Jamis Nova, and Cannondale. I haven't found a store with the Trek or the Felt bike in stock, but that seems doable, and one store that stocks Kona Jake the Snake, but haven't heard back from them
But I can't find anywhere for Surly. Does anyone know of a store that tends to stock them, or, barring that, are there any DC area commuters that have a 54 cm Surly CrossCheck that I could try? (54 is what I was fitted on for my Cervelo Dual, so that is what I'm guessing for the CrossCheck, but I suppose finding a 52cm or 56cm would help as well for narrowing down what size to get.
Also, are there any other brands that I should try to make a point of testing?