A couple of questions for the respondents thus far to this post and its subsequent thread content.
Do you regularly test ride some or many of each year's new bikes? To be sure there is a great deal of the newest/latest buzz and branding(microfiber carbon layup, the newest/strongest/lightest Alux alloy etc.) and that crap can be hard to stomach. But, apart from how the stuff looks (admittedly mostly rather garish), that feeling in the hands/wrists, keister, and feet is telling. You don't know when you see it, you KNOW it when you first feel it. After that, at least for me, looks become secondary, and sometimes irrelevant. For me, looks, lines, and style have seldom been a reliable indicator of how it rides. How about you?
How much, if at all, is the technical complexity in the new bikes a factor in your considerations? Over the years I've come to notice a farly high correlation between technical complexity and higher maintenance and more downtime. I buy bikes to ride 'em, typically 2,500 miles or so a year. The more time spent maintaining a bike, the less I like it. Eventually they get culled.
Lastly, ofttimes it seems that less is more. Our bikes and our kits are rolling billboards for these companies. Visually, the branding and logos are hard on the eyes/unappealing, bordering on garish and vulgar. The less this crap assults the eyes, the more it tends to catch/interest mine.
What is your take?
Sorry for the belated response.
food for thought