One of the bikes that I am really thinking about is a hybrid. Many of them have the same gearing as a touring bike. They have stronger wheels than a regular road bike (would a 32 spoke wheel be ok), and are supposed to be pretty comfortable. Am I wrong with any of these points?
It depends on how light you pack.
YMMV, but I am not a fan of hybrids.
I recommend touring bike if you will pack moderately light to very heavy. I like the Windsor Touring for that if on a tight budget or just frugal. I rode one of these as did my two companions on the Trans America. They worked out well and were inexpensive.
If packing light to moderately light a cyclocross bike can work well. A touring bike can work here too. A race bike could possibly work, but wouldn't be ideal unless maybe you use a trailer.
If packing very light to ultralight I'd recommend a road bike. Endurance models work well, but I have been happy with sportier models as well. I did the Southern Tier from San Diego to Florida with a 1990ish Cannondale crit race bike and was very happy with it. I was camping and cooking, but going ultralight and carrying something like 15 pounds. Packing that light apparently isn't for most folks though. On the up side bikes of that vintage can be found dirt cheap. They would need lower gearing than they typically came with though. Also they do not all take racks easily.
I wrote up journals for my trips and also wrote a few articles that might be of use. Check them out at: