I've been saving for a while now. I need to get fit and I wanted a bike. You just go so much further for the effort you put in, which means I can put in the same effort as say running, but actually get somewhere.
I went to a local shop and said that I wanted to spend between $5-700. They pointed out some stuff. I'm 6'4", so getting a bike in my size is difficult. I didn't want anything special order because I knew I wouldn't get a deal. I wanted something in my size that was good for what I wanted to do (commuting, maybe some touring) that was a last year model.
They had three bikes. They were all on the heavy side and the componentry wasn't great for what I was looking to spend. I then asked what he had in maybe a higher price range. There was a 2008 Raleigh RX 1.0. The bike retails for $1200. It was marked down to $1000. I pulled $980 cash out of my pocket and told the salesman how much it was. " . . . So after tax it can't be more than . . ." he was catching on quickly. Needless to say I now have a $1200 bike $920+tax. Not bad.
Soon we are going to buy my wife a bike from the same place. Again with cash. They have a really nice '09 Giant FCR2 for $700 that I think my wife will like. Hopefully I can squeeze another $50 off the already reduced price.