Just got myself a Dawes Sterling. And I know that this is not the base that most serous touring cyclists would use to build up something nice (I mean it's a hardly an LHT or a new Kona). But... I don't have a lot of money and this dos seem to me to be quite a nice frame for kitting out nicely. What do you guys think... worth swapping out a few of the current components?
Just because a bike isn't widely known as a "touring bike" doesn't mean that the bike wouldn't be well suited for touring. As long as it fits you well and it can accommodate a load then what you have is a good touring bike. If you do some digging around on the internet you'll see that people have circled the world on bikes that no one would label a "touring bike". One that comes to mind is a Bike Friday with 20" wheels. To me this is a city bike that can be folded up and put in your trunk or on your boat or plane when you need ground transportation but it wouldn't be my first or even tenth choice as a touring bike but they do have a dedicated following for just that. Build your bike up as you like it and tour with it and it will be way more of a touring bike than a Rivendell that never leaves the garage.