I am a cyclist and I concur on searching Craigslist.
I ride a Giant and it is every bit as good as some of the more expensive brands.
Giant builds frames for most of the more popular brands like Trek.
Don't let the pillowbitergy outfits throw you off. You might look into becoming a roadie pillowbiter. Some of the best workouts I have ever gotten.
But then again I'm drunk and from Syracuse.