I'm currently riding a Townsend road bike that's nothing exceptionally special, but it's done me well for a while. I've added aero levers and a brooks saddle but otherwise it's pretty much as it was when I bought it. I recently took it on the London-Brighton and other than being a bit limited by 5 gears (and probably my own personal fitness) it held up well. The only niggle was the brakes, which are a bit rubbish around town and frankly useless on a long downhill!
The question is, how much do you put into a bike with no pedigree in terms of parts? The frame is showing it's age with a few rust spots here and there, but otherwise ok, It's got odd-sized (27x1 1/4) wheels that need rather specific tyres (but I've already got a decent pair of tyres) and a mixture of good and bad components (Huret gears, Plessier hubs but Formos brakes!).
I realised today as I looked for a new set of 57mm calipers that this is never going to be a 'great' bike, but the idea of shelling out for a whole new one seems worse than buying the odd part here and there!
Here it is: