In July, 2007 I purchased a Specialized Tri Cross bike for commuting and for touring. This was my first bike purchase in 22 years, and lot of things have changed since I bought my Trek sport bike in 1985. The folks at Summit City Bike in Fort Wayne, IN were really patient and helpful. Once I explained that I didn't want a really skinny tired bike and didn't need to go especially fast, they turned my on to the Tri Cross, which is a cyclocross bike made for riding on the road or on the trail.
Before I bought the Tri Cross, I looked at a Cannondale T-2 that was in stock, but the frame was too small for me. I considered ordering a true touring bike through them, but was intimidated at the thought of having to buy the bike without being able to ride it first. After spending a great deal of time with the sales folks at Summit City and being very pleased with the bike I bought, I would not hesitate ordering a specially-built bike through them. They were that helpful.
Anyway, I'm going to try to post some photos of the bike if I can figure out how to do it.