I've been doing research and looking to replace my cheapish mountain bike with my first "real" bike, to use as an all-around bike and also for some long tours. I've decided to look for something steel so I can have S & S couplers installed, to allow me to fly to various "exotic" locations (hopefully) to explore. I can see myself doing both road touring and off-road, but I'm a little unsure whether to go the mountain bike route or more of a real touring frame. I was just at a LBS today and was checking out the Burley Runabout, which is a steel commuter bike with integrated rear rack and rigid front fork with lowrider mounts standard. I think Burley could probably install the couplers right at the factory, too. Is there any reason I couldn't tour on something like that, or should I look more towards the Long Haul Trucker or even the Burley Hudson touring bike? Would the real touring bikes be able to take me through Baja or the Great Divide route (bypassing the really rough stuff)? I was originally thinking that a 26" wheeled bike might pack down smaller for travel, but I'm not really sure about that. So many questions.... Any thoughts?