I'm looking for primarily a hardcore commuter. I might mess around with a little freestyle but not much. I just want a sturdy frame with relatively steep angles and high BB. I ride fixed right now but riding SS is a possibility in the future. So far I have it narrowed down to the All-City Dropout and the Volume Thrasher.
all city. It is better suited to being an all around bad ass bike for the following reasons. taken from the all city site
E.D. Finish: The entire bike is E.D. coated inside and out. E.D. coating not only improves the quality and durability of the paint, but is the best rust proofing agent going. With the E.D. coating there is no need to Frame Saver the bike, it’s already done for you.
Plus the fact that you can run front and rear brakes for a single speed make it a no brainer in my mind. I just wish I had the grand or so to spend on a commuter. "hardcore" or not these bikes are made to withstand 10-15 ft drops and other nonsense. They are overkill for what you will be using them for. You could spend several hundred dollars less on a bike that will do exactly what you want, and probably be several pounds lighter. Also, I personally like bikes that have tires that are fairly close to what the frame has clearance for. ex surly steamroller with 35mm tires. If you use commuter tires on either of these bikes (28-35mm) you will have tons of space between the tires and frame/fork.