I hope it's cool to add to this thread as I have a question along very similar lines. I have just gotten into road biking this summer and and planning to build a bike for next year over the fall and winter (hoping to catch some good prices in the Northeast). I've been cruising around local bike shops and online in an effort to select a frame material and manufacturer that will get me something in my price range (up to 800 or so). I weigh about 200 lbs and am mainly interested in club riding and longer recreational rides. My dad is pretty traditional about bikes so when I heard that light weight steel frames were still made I looked at them pretty seriously. My main concern relates to the fact that I live in a pretty hilly area and need all the help I can get climbing with a minimum of flex. I've read that steel tends to be more flexible than aluminum but also provides the kind of ride I would be looking for in terms of comfort. Can anyone suggest a steel frame they know to be well made and stiff. I've been looking at the Salsa La Raza but can find any good information about stiffness for someone my size. I also heard that the Le Monde Zurich was a good steel frame bike. Should I more seriously consider aluminum?
I weigh about 230, and my frame of choice is an older Gunnar Roadie made of Reynolds 853 (link to pictures is in my signature). I find this particular tubeset in the geometries of my bike (a standard size 56) to be very comfortable--fast, yet not twitchy or too stiff. You will get 1,000 different opinions on what steel is best or what frame to choose, so the best thing to do is some reading on your own and some test riding to see what feels best to you. Good luck.