I have been riding touring frames for years and have always wondered if there are any cyclocross frames that could be used as a base for a good touring bike....touring frames are very comfortable but not the fastest bikes around for good reason I suppose.
The deal with CX frames is the wheel base is not as long as a touring frame (shorter rear triangle) so you may have heel strike problems with rear panniers. Also generally the bottom bracket is a bit higher so a CX bike may be a bit more top heavy when loaded then a true touring bike. Go to Surly's web site and down load their 04 catalog and compare the Long Haul touring frame to the Cross Check frame you'll get the idea. If you just want a bike for day trips not loaded touring most cross bike's would work great.