I've owned a Trek for 10 years. I love it, and it's never given me problems. If you are wanting to keep a bike for the long term and are going to put some miles on it, I'd highly recommend going to a bike shop and talking to the personnel there. They can help you make a decision on which bike will suit you best. The really good places let you take them for a test ride before you plunk your money down. Pay attention to the seat and how it feels to you. They can always be switched out. If you haven't done much cycling before, get yourself a decent helmet, padded shorts, and gloves. The gloves will keep your hands from getting torn up if you fall and kill some of the vibration from the handlebars. And the shorts will keep you from walking bowlegged from chafing. Teamestrogen.com generally has some decent sales. I notice Target is now selling some padded shorts. There are some nice microfiber shorts with a detachable padded short out on the market that don't look so hard core. Are there good bike paths near you? If you have to drive to get there, get yourself a bike rack, too. Traillink.com can be a good resource.