I had the 2000 Axis- a cool radiant blue. I used it for a lot of commuting, plus occassional off-road and a few races once I actually got around to doing a CX race. after 3 years and perhaps 12,000 miles, my Axis failed at the bottom bracket welds. pretty scary to see, though i wasn't hurt.
Bianchi was willing to warrantte it with either credit towards a new built-up axis as they had no framesets (not too appealing as I had all the parts) , credit towards the cross-concept, and the discontinued chromo-lite steel frame (with carbon fork).
since i'm a fairly big guy (190-200lbs) and I already busted the aluminum, I couldn't see going for the super light scandium alloy (even though it's cool looking bike). so, I went for the steel.
it's a cool bike, and I can live with the extra lb or whatever