Well, after a 45 year absence from cycling, in a matter of only two weeks, I went from a Target Schwinn Clear Creek Comfort bike to a LBS Raleigh Venture 3.0 Comfort bike. The Raleigh is my "goto" bike and the Schwinn has been relegated to backup/loaner status.
In all honesty, I can't say I'm sorry I bought the Schwinn but, in retrospect, had I know I was going to enjoy cycling so much, I would have just bought the Raleigh.
That said, the Schwinn went from the rack at Target to the LBS as they were having a 1/2 price special on spring tuneups. The tech told me it's one of the better built Target bikes. It still gets ridden most every weekend as someone uses it to tag along on a ride.
The biggest difference I can see is the overall quality. In terms of hardware, shifters, brakes, cranksets and the visual aspects of the overall general workmanship like the welding of the frame joints is of much higher quality.
Schwinn warranties the frame for 1 year. Raleigh warranties the frame for life. IMO....that says something.