I've ordered a new Trek X500 bike for general use. It should arrive within the next several weeks, which gives me a little time to sock away the money for it.
It'll be the first high-end bike I've actually owned, and I've taken some care to choose a bike suited to my own tastes and goals.
I want to be able to ride the bike to work (15 miles or more), grocery shopping (around 5 miles), camping, touring some of the many cool places Mississippi has to offer (and there are many cool places to visit in Mississippi), etc.
It needs to be able to carry a big rider with lots of gear over considerable distances over bad roads comfortably. That's a tall order, but this bike should do the job just fine.
It features 27 speeds, pannier racks for carrying gear, fenders to counter muddy splash-back on soggy roads, a headlight, bell (for warning pedestrians, who might not hear or see me coming), built-in tire pump, and disc brakes (far superior to traditional brakes in traffic and quick-decision situations).
I can hardly wait for this puppy to arrive. I shouldn't have to make too many modifications to it, although I'm definitely planning on adding flashing LED lights and such, to make it easier for others on & near the road to see me.
And I may switch from mechanical disc brakes to hydraulic disc brakes. I was considering having this done at the time of bike assembly, but unless it costs considerably less to do so at that time, I'm now thinking I'll stick with the mechanicals for a while, which will free up that money for other purposes, such as the pannier bags.