I've ordered a new bike; my first in over thirteen years - the tandem doesn't count, that's Erica's. :-)
It will be the first bike I'll own with drop handlebars. It's designed to go well on the road and be comfortable over long distances. Although I've become very keen on cycling lately, I don't intend to buy myself new bikes very often, maybe never again. I hope to still be riding this one when I retire. For these reasons I went to some trouble trying to get it right. Despite having done a fair bit of cycling over the years, I've haven't got really geeky about bikes until recently.
I've gone for a custom-built titanium frame by independent Harwich-based frame-builder Justin Burls. He designs the frames to customer specification, which are then built in Russia by titanium professionals trained in the aerospace industry.
So I've spent quite a lot for someone who's still really a casual cyclist, but you could easily cough up far more in any high-street store for a bike that probably wouldn't last as long. It wasn't strictly necessary for me to go for a custom frame, as I'm not an especially unusual weight/build. Once you consider titanium, however, the price for custom and off-the-shelf is similar, so I chose patience and (hopefully) perfection.
I always like to know what I'm buying, in fact I think it's half the fun, so over the past 5 months I've been doing some serious geeking-up on all things bike. I've chosen every part of the bike and I think I've made good decisions and compromises, going for cheaper components in places that I might change after trying them out for a while, such as the stem and handlebars. However, I won't really know until I ride it. For that, I have to wait until mid-April.