Just to keep it all straight, while it is fresh in my mind.
Test ride #1 (last weekend): Trek Madone 4.7, standard size 54. It felt weird--my first experience on a full carbon frame. I could feel definite "squishiness" which I am now informed is "vertical compliance." Definitely responsive--I could feel it jump forward when I first hopped on the pedals. Was I in love with it? I'm not sure. Bill looked me over on it pretty thoroughly and then ordered a 56cm WSD for me to try. It just came in yesterday, so I will go back Sunday and see if it sings to me.
Test ride #2 (20 minutes ago): Specialized Roubaix Expert, standard size 52. I was a bit skeptical of the smaller size at first, but it turns out that Specialized geometry is designed to set the rider in a more upright position, conducive to longer rides. I took off on this bike like a shot--it damn near jumped out from under me when I first hit the pedal. I have to admit--this is a damned sexy ride. Light, responsive, crisp shifting. A little more $$$ than the Madone--in fact, way outside my original budget. And I feel a bit guilty--sorta like I'm cheating on the Trek boys with a bike that is younger, hotter, and can go all night (day?). Hmmmmm. Maybe I should have them build/spec out something a little more upscale for me to compare the Roubaix to. Argh.
Argh. Shopping for big expensive toys is fun but it also makes me want to tear out my hair.