Originally Posted by shutterbiker
...my other bikes are fairly expensive, so i just wondered if i would want to upgrade right away.
Fairly expensive is somewhat relative; however, in general you can usually get a fairly accurate appreciation of how a given tandem will stack up against single bikes by assuming the tandem is 2 - 2.5 as expensive as a comparable single bike (lower cost tandems seem to be closer to 2.5x whereas the higher end models are in the 1.8 - 2x range).
In other words, if you're riding an $800 road bike that you bought new in 2001, you can expect that a 2001 model year tandem that sold for $1,600 - $1,999 would be comparable and have similar performance characteristics and componentry. However, if you're riding a $3,900 Litespeed, you'd have to establish a budget upwards of $7,500 - $8,000 to get a tandem that exhibited similar characteristics.
The "premium grade" tandems that seem to be most compatible with seasoned cyclist's expections for form, fit and function fall into the $3,200 - $5,400 price range (new MSRP) and include both chromoly steel and aluminum models.
Bottom Line: If you have a clear vision of social riding being your primary pursuit and don't plan to "run with the big dogs" right away, I would suspect this would be a great way to test the waters with a tandem. If the basic concept of tandeming suits (or then again if it doesn't), you can easily re-sell and recoup your investment for use on an upgrade or some other extracurricular activity.