OK, don't tell me about how salt & slush eat bikes and I should get a junk bike for nothing. First of all, I've never found a junk bike that fit me (150.5cm) and secondly my winter riding is just as important to me as my summer riding. 1/3 of my bike season is potentially sloppy, slush. It may not be my dream cycling, but it is still darn important to me, and I want it to be as good as it can be. I accept that I have to wash my bike down almost daily, I've done it for 2 winters, it's not that big a deal for me. Let's talk about components for my dream winter bike.
1) Nokian studded tires--have them, I think they are essential. What do you think?
2) Disc brakes: Front & rear or just on the rear? What do you think. Any brand recommendations?
3) Hard nose vs front suspension: my inclination is to a hard nose, how about you?
4) Cyclo cross vs MTB frame? Because of fitting problems, I will probably go with a MTB, but which would you choose and why?
5) How about internal hub gears? Are any made for 26" wheels? Can they be used with Disc Brakes? Are they really better for slush & mud, or is that just traditional wisdom?
Remember, the idea here is to roll out a winter bike you are proud of, and will help motivate you on less than perfect days, just like your main bike motivates you in the "good" season.