The un-ending repairs to my old bike finally got to me and I just went out and bought a new bike last weekend.
The final straw was when I set out to work one day last week and the rear mech just collapsed.
I was toying with the idea of getting a Ridgeback Nemesis which has hub gears and breaks, but the bloke in Bike Dock convinced me that the Ridgeback Super Nova was more suited to the type of riding that I do, which is mainly the 22 mile round trip of my daily commute. Its the first time i've bought a more expensive bike (more expensive to me anyway). It has a Shimano Deore XT group set, which I'm hoping will be more hard wearing than the budget components on my current bike - time will tell, I've decided i'm going to let the bike shop service it anyway. I'm going to get a rear rack and mud guards for it next month.
I'm paying it off over a year, and when i've paid for this one i'm already planning to get a proper road bike. There is just something really appealing about well built bikes don't you think?