I'm in the market for a new touring bike. I've done some touring before, most notably in 2008 when I rode 1280 km around Taiwan over the course of 11 days, but I've never had a touring bike. My current bike, a 21-inch Giant XTC with 26" wheels, is too small for me (I'm 6'2", or 188 cm if you prefer the metric system) and has gotten uncomfortable to ride, not to mention it's not designed for touring.
Anyway, here in Taiwan, there aren't a lot of touring bikes available, especially for tall guys like me. So far the only one I've been able to find is a 2011 Specialized Tricross Sport, which I actually like a lot. It's pretty much either that or a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which I can pick up when I go home to the States for Christmas this December.
Both of these bikes have what I want: a relatively upright riding position, drop bars, 700c wheels, pannier mounts in both the front and the rear, and a reasonable price. As I see it, the main differences are steel vs. aluminum, the fit (I haven't ridden either bike yet, so I don't know which one I'll like better), and the availability (I could buy the Tricross this week but I'd have to wait three months for the Surly). Also, I suppose there's the issue of portability: I've heard that the Trucker offers S&S couplers that would make it easy to take the bike on a plane. Should I take this into consideration?
Anyway, you guys know exponentially more about touring than I do, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.