Yep, I looked at the Cannondale and Trek aluminum bikes when I bought mine
The Cannondales had the really thick, but very thin walled tubing. I was afraid it would dent if it fell over...lol
Thoughts on Mavic hubs? These are their entry level wheels, which should be pretty good. The detractors I've read are the weight (heavy), and they use sealed bearings that aren't serviceable. Neither are big red flags for me. They get decent reviews as Mavic's "entry level" training wheels as "solid," and hold true.