If I had $1k to spend, which bent bike would be recommended for commuting, in traffic? My commute is 6mi, done in all sorts of weather. Don't need tons of gears, as I do not have any major hillclimbs.
I have no preferences as far as type or brand, as I don't know much about bent bikes. I was considering building one but realized that I have no practical experience, and no decent welder, so that's out. Under or over steering doesn't really matter, although something tells me that under steering would be more comfy? The ability to carry panniers is the only actual requirement.
Just about any decent 'bent would work as long as you can hang some bags/panniers on it. I get by with just my back pack slung over the seat. I commute on a RANS Tailwind. The Burley bikes and Cycle Genius are decent too. Find one that is comfortable for you and go for it. You will be suprised how many people comment on your "strange" ride!
I have commuted a lot on a Rans Rocket-- I bought it for that purpose. I added fenders (it rains here in Memphis), racks, and lights. It works really well. My 'nice' recumbent is a P-38 Lightning-- I commuted on it for awhile but I didn't like beating it up on the city streets. The Rocket isn't as fast but I don't mind beating it up on the daily ride.
I've just ordered a Lightening Thunderbolt. The base price is $850. Because I'm going to pick it up from the factory, it is even less.
Online comments out there say that the components are sub-par, but I don't really care about that and can't even tell. You could always replace parts one-by-one as time went on and finances became available if that sort of thing is important to you.
It seems light enough (30lbs) and sturdy enough for daily use from what I saw when I went up there to test-ride it. I think my mountain bike weighs more.
I know a bicycle missionary that uses the Ligting as his main mode of transpotation. He has put about 40,000 miles on the thing and has already had to replace the frame twice. He is on the third frame and he is begining to notice stress cracks in the paint. He told that he hope to get 16,000 miles from that frame.
So, it may do the job for commuting but I would dare use it for fully loaded touring.