We have been riding like banshees since they came. On Sunday we took them down to a bike path along the Miami River in Hamilton, and they both ride like a dream. I ended up going with a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is technically a touring bike but I have her set up as a commuter now. She packs quite a punch! She can zoom along with the best of them, even though the frame is relatively heavy, and she is extremely powerful. I took her around town to a consulting meeting and then ran a couple errands and filled my one pannier I was carrying to the brim. She's so steady it made no difference. I had a cheap bike once with rear baskets on it, and the moment you dropped a dime into just one basket and didn't even out the other you could feel the imbalance. The LHT is so sturdy you probably couldn't detect a change if you strapped an anvil to the side.
Sean got a Trek FX 7.3 with disk brakes and it's just plain slick. He's been riding it to school everyday. I hopped on it the other night to see how it handled and it's super speedy AND comfortable. And it handles really sensitively, which is great. I thought disk brakes might feel a little different than cantilever but not so much. Apparently you just have to repair them less and they are more reliable in extreme weather. We also got his set up for commuting, that being our main need right now, but his is all around good for lots of things, even though Trek advertises it mainly as a fitness bike. Sometime before it gets too cold we're hoping to take the bikes camping somewhere with a nice trail that we can wake up early and ride. They've already made it a lot more convenient and fun to get around town, considering the roadways in Oxford are a lot more congested now than they were in the summer.