Cycling in Sydney Australia
Avanti have the Circa 1 for under $1,500 http://www.avantibikes.com/cross/circa1.aspx?bid=434 (I think they're closer to $1,000). I have a Circa 2 (ex demo).
I commute 4 days a week. I bought this bike just before Christmas. I enjoy riding it so much that I have extended my AM and PM rides from the minimum 5-10km to 20+km each way with some meaty hills thrown in. Admittedly I have moved off an old Trek MTB with slick tyres but still...
Given me a whole new lease of life on cycling!