Re: Brand Spanking new to road bikes... Raleigh sport?There's a dilemma for most people when buying a road bike for the first time. That bike up there pretty much belongs to the bottom line of new road bikes, so IF you're still cycling seriously three years from now you'll probably want some more bling. However, if you buy an expensive bike and later decide you don't like road cycling, you'll have wasted a pretty big investment.
When I started road cycling I bought a bike similar to this (2002-03 Trek 1000), which did most of the things I asked it to do, but when I started racing I decided that I needed something better. That bike up there will probably give you a good introduction to what it's like to be on a road bike. You won't be able to do some things though. For instance, with Shimano 2200 or Sora you won't be able to shift up from the drops (the bottom of the handlebars). This isn't really a problem unless you need race-level responsiveness, as most people can probably shift up before they move their hands to the drops.
Another question is, what's your budget? If you have money to spare, I would suggest getting something higher-end (like Shimano 105), but if you don't (i.e., student) you should get something on the lower-end. Eventually you will have to replace parts, for instance, a chain every 500-2000 miles, and a cassette every 15,000-20,000 miles, depending on your riding style and how well you maintain your parts. For 8-Speed groups, replacement parts aren't very expensive since you can get 8-speed chains and cassettes for around $20. However, for 9 and 10 speed groups these replacement parts are more than twice, or even three times as expensive (A Campy Super-Record 11-speed cassette costs $450!!!).
Anyways, I probably can't tell you whether or not to buy that bike since I've never ridden it. To open up your options, however, you can consider buying a used bike. There are a lot of people who buy expensive bikes, ride them for very few miles and decide they don't want them anymore, and sell them for much cheaper. This will allow you to buy upper-end bikes for a bargain. However, I would only recommend that you do this if you really know what you want, and know what size you are, and if you know how to tell if the bike is in good condition.