I think my point is that if you've not done a lot riding it can be hard knowing what kind of riding you want to do or what you really want, and it's best not to blow all your money on something that's not quite right.
One of things I learnt is that I needed to spend a lot more to get a bike I was happy with. I think the Clive needs to budget a bit more if he's planning this bike as a long term investment, as he's currently falling into the pricepoint void between cheap entry-level bikes (<£500) and properly nice bikes (>£1000).
True, although depending on the brand, the difference between the cheaper models more expensive ones is usually just the components. The frame, quite often, is identical.
From the looks of it these days, as long as your budget starts from around 400/450, you can get the same frame-set on a brand's 'budget' model as their more premium ones.
I think Clive's starting budget is gonna get him a pretty decent bit of kit that's plenty upgradeable for the foreseeable future.
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"You will always be in our hearts and on our roads." - @Giro d'Italia on Michele Scarponi