This horse being nearly dead already, I won't give it more than a few additional whacks.
I probably wasn't clear initially. The Miyata 610 I purchased for $150 was not frame only, but full bike in mint ride-ready condition. If it were just an "old frame" I would call myself crazy as well. In my mind, what's unique about touring bikes is that the same material used 30 years ago, steel, is what is preferred today (as opposed to cf for road bikes, etc.), and high end '80s lugged frames are better than and a fraction the cost of mid range TIG-welded frames today.
I'm not sure I would recommend the Novara Safari, as, in my experience, the trekker/butterfly bars feel more like drops than risers body position wise. For a new bike I would probably go with a hybrid/commuter with good rack and fender capabilities.
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