Hi there, since many will recommend that you buy used, I'll go the new route.
I'm partial to steel (actually chrmoly). Untill recently, most new road bikes, steel or aluminum have been equipt with Brk.Lever.Shifters AKA "Brifters". You're probably not used to them yet so I believe that Down Tube shifters might be a logical choice given your target price. www.specialized.com
has many models. The Allez Double Steel
listed under road bike, then performance is your price. I like that bike.
Other cut-rate brands, dept. store brands as well as other styles of bikes are avail.
BUT you stated clearly "good" & Road Bike so that's what I focus on.