I just got back from my first ride on my new bike! I recently got back into biking after a long hiatus (Thanks, US Postal Team!) I haven't had a new bike since 1970, and I was 95% sure that I was going to get a CX bike. One of the local stores was having a warehouse sale, and I found a Redline Conquest in my price range, but it was a little big (at 61cm, it felt and measured out the same as a Specialized Allez at 59cm), and it was aluminum-framed. I had tried a number of bikes and decided that I wanted to go steel. In the end, I decided that the best ride was a '03 Lemond Poprad (57cm) that I had tried out earlier. It was the same price as the Redline and it fit perfectly. The Reynolds 853 frame felt good on the test ride, and I really don't mind the cheap Sora components - yet. I'll eventually swap in some better stuff later on.
My daughter and I did a nice 20+ mile ride on trails and roads, and the bike feels better than it did on the test ride. Super smooth and responsive, and with my old leather Selle seat, very comfortable. I don't know if I'll ever put road tires on it - it was a very nice ride in stock form. If I ever get to the point where smoothies work better, I'll maybe just get a separate road wheel set.
It's fun having the new bike - and I think it will also be motivational. It's nice to be back in the fold!