So I've been talking to my LBS (Urbane Cyclist) and every time I ask about the Aurora Elite and loaded touring he kinda winces and looks away.
Today when I went in to get my Speed Machine tuned-up, he mentioned that he was thinking about what I had in mind (tour around Lake Ontario next summer) and he thinks that I should upgrade a regular Aurora instead of buying the Elite. He says that the changes needed to make the Elite's drivetrain good for loaded touring, plus the fender difficulties suggest that I should just go with an Aurora and upgrade the sifters to Ultegra 9sp and the rear derailleur to XT. The Elite's drivetrain is Ult/Tiagra 10sp, so there's no easy way to go with a MTB rear derailleur (they're all 9sp) without starting an avalanche of other changes. The only thing he didin't mention that worries ne a bit are the Tiagra hubs. I may ask him to build me a set of wheels with LX or XT hubs.
Does this make sense to you? I test rode a 53 Aurora and I was happy with the feel. It felt really nice actually.