Well ... What do you think about a Bridgestone MB5 as a touring bike?
This is my beater that I loan to everyone. Now its new mission is to tour on the weekends.
What have I done you ask? Well ... for less than 200 bucks I've put axiom fenders, racks, panniers, compass bell and a greenfield kickstand. Still left to be done ... Brooks saddle, handle bar extensions, 170 cranks, relight wheel magnet led front and back, new wheel set for when these buy the farm and some schwalbe tires. So honesty another 250 bucks (without the wheel set) to finish the set-up.
Thoughts ... suggestions ... guidance ... smart-el'lick remarks