Mine was a cheapie. it was about $1000 all up with lights, speedo, pack rack, helmet, etc but it does the job.
I ride about 30-36km daily depending on whether I'm going to uni or just riding into down with the bloke. We're lucky to have a bike track for pretty much the whole way but I have had a few motorists try to kill me as well. Some people can be pretty stupid behind the wheel of a car - or bus. I've learned that when riding on the road, I pretend I'm a car and behave like one - that way you're predictable for motorists. I also indicate clearly and am 100% concentrated on my surroundings at all times.
One bit of advice, if you're starting off after not having ridden for a while, you can forget how to ride a bike, contrary to the popular saying. So start off slow or there will be some skin come off you like it did off me. Don't skimp on a helmet and I advise the use of gloves - so much better than losing the skin off your palms - and lights, particularly in twilight and dark.
On the plus side, it's a fantastic form of exercise and works a large proportion of your body and can be incorporated into your routine easily as transport.
35kg lost. (November 2005 - October 2006)
15kg gained again (as at October 2010).
Back to the drawing board - Let's do this thing!
"You can't change the winds, but you can change the sails"
"Reach out and take control of what lands in your lap"