First off, he was full of poop. (Can I say that here?) Go to www.trekbikes.com and click on "touring". They still make the 520. Bianchi makes the Volpe. (www.bianchiusa.com/06_volpe.html) REI/Novara makes the Randonee. (www.rei.com/rei/gearshop/novara/index.html) Fuji makes the Fuji Touring (www.fujibikes.com/2006/bikes.asp?id=143) And those are just the stock touring bikes under $1,000.00! There are a whole list of stock, semi-custom and custom touring bikes running from 1200 bucks to whatever you want to pay. Go to the Adventure Cycling website by clicking on the bottom of the page, and head into the magazine archives, find the 2006 Buyers Guide for all the latest info and models. The Trek, Bianchi and Novarra are really good bikes to start touring on. Strong, sturdy and built to carry a load. Then if you like it you can keep riding that bike or move up to a Bruce Gordon, Waterford or Rivendell. You can find information on them all in Adventure Cyclist. Better yet, Join Adventure Cycling! You can do that on the website too!