I dont think that there is much difference between these bikes. The components on each are entry level, commuter components. They are each rather unimpressive looking (except that the IRO decals are not so ugly that you would have to remove them). The hubs on the IRO may be a better quality than the Surly, but that is certainly a debatable opinion.
You do have more control over what you get on your IRO, and that's cool.