I've been bitten by the cycling bug again recently. I live in a very bike-friendly neighborhood, and want to get a 'beater' to ride around with. I test-rode a Langster and liked it; I'm also curious enough about fixed-gear that I'd get a flip-flop hub to try out both worlds.
I liked the Langster, but I don't want to buy new. I want something a bit older in steel... nostalgic, a bit more stylish, as well as (hopefully) less theft-worthy. Something I can tool around on, but not sweat bullets while it's locked up out of sight. I'm even hoping for a frame that looks a bit beat-up, if that makes sense.
However, the more research I do the more it seems I'm better served buying 'new'. I don't want to become a mechanic, so the 'cheap parts' route has a lot of time, cost and expertise investments that I don't want to make. If I find some cool old frame online, cool, but to get all the rest of the parts and have them put together is probably still more expensive than buying new, which defeats the purpose. If I find a complete 'beater' I like (hard for a 62cm frame) there's still the time/cost to convert.
So, the more I research it, the lower my odds are of getting in to this world for under $500. It seems easier just to get a Mark V or Pista and be done with it. Am I missing something?