I have a blasphemous caveat before I really get into meat of this posting -- I am looking to downsize the number of bikes that I own to two.
I am predominately a roadie with some history in mountain and trail riding (no cross riding).
I want to keep my main road bike, sell off my other bikes, and purchase a cross. My hope is that the cross will serve as a great all-arounder -- i.e., an alternate roadie when the main one needs to visit the LBS hospital, commuting (especially in the winter months), off-roading, etc. While I have no intentions of racing cross specifically, I do race road and, therefore, prefer to know that if I change my mind that the new cross-bike is serviceable to such ends.
Like many people, the ($$$) times are tough. Over the years, I have really caught the Ti bug and I would prefer to stay with this frame material (alas, its pricey). Is the functionality of a Ti bike advantageous over steel? (I prefer objective information and not preferences -- e.g., corrosion resistance, weight savings, ride quality/flex, etc.).
At this point I am open to any suggestions relative to particular bikes, considerations, etc. I would like to cap out this purchase in about the 2k to 2.5k range; but if I can find a nice whip for less then I am certainly open. I think that the only Ti cross in my range is something like Habanero's cross, but I know that the quality of Ti is more contingent upon the welding than simply the material...
In short, I am looking to the helpful voices of BF to for some words of wisdom.