love my SL3 LOOOOVVVVEEEE My SL4.
also, Im concerned that you are buying online, Specialized doesnt allow dealers to closeout bikes online, some get away with it through ebay, but be very very careful.
Thanks for the insiightful posts and suggestions. Much appreciated. I would have loved to have considered a SL3 or SL4 but those were out of my price range and I did not feel comfortable purchasing a second hand bike. Those are probably more bike than I need too. I do not even think the shops I visited even had any SL4s. I had a difficult time finding a SL2 in stock to ride. On one Saturday, I drove 400 miles across Montana looking at bikes -). I was beat after that. My budget was $2500 so I was looking at the SL2 with 105. The list price on this build is also $2500. I ended up buying the Comp version, SL2 with Ultegra for $2700. The list was $3200 but I was able to capitalize on a Specialized promo that knocked off $500 bucks. I thought I did pretty good plus I liked the paint scheme better than on the 105 build and I got to do business with a LBS that I really liked. It was the only 54 they had in stock. The Ultegra was not a bad upgrade too -). I also found the 105 version at another shop for $2350. I rode it too. But for an extra $350 bucks I jumped for the Ulterga and cooler paint job. I love my new bike.
Reguarding the R3, I threw it into the buying mix after I read some really positive posts on various blogs and forums. It was just to look at something slightly different. As you mentioned, it is a friendly race bike. Probably not as aggressive as the Tarmac or as comfortable as the Roubaix. Somewhat in the middle maybe. Later on, I learned that Bicycling Mag made it their best "enthusiast" bike of the year. Their 105 R3 lists for $2650. I really enjoyed riding it. There is something really nice about that frame. I am sure others will think its junk, but it felt great to me. It fit me well, but it was probably not as stable as the Roubaix. The Roubaix seems pretty hard to beat in that department. It did transmit more road buzz and would probably not be as comfortable over the long hall as the Roubaix. I did enjoy riding the R3 better than the Domane, Synapse, and the Kona. I will dare to say that it was more comfortable than the Synapse or the Kona. But that can be hard to say when only riding for 10 or 20 minutes. It would have certainly been my second choice. It is a special bike. The Domane was still probably the most comfortable. But i could not get past the fore-mentioned complaints. But, in the end, I felt the Roubaix was the best choice for me.
Just my humble two cents, I am sure others have different opinions.