Forget all your biases, if you harbor them, against 26" wheels. This bike made it's HC showroom debut yesterday, and it has been getting a ton of attention from employees and customers alike.
It's a stock Surly Long Haul Trucker, 58 cm frame with 26" wheels. We added some Tubus racks, Planet Bike Cascadia fenders, MKS pedals, a Brooks saddle, King bottle cages (plus Klean Kanteen), and most importantly, Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26x2.0 tires. The best thing about the 26" wheel option on these new LHTs is that it allows for a much fatter tire than is possible on the 700C variant. With a 2" (50 mm) tire and fenders, there's still plenty of room in there. Why should you care? Because a 50+ mm tire will roll over mushy sand and gravel and other questionable surfaces where a 35 mm tire will falter. And, with decent tires (like these Schwalbes), this will be pleasingly fast on pavement and hard-pack dirt/gravel surfaces. More comfort and traction and flotation, with no discernible loss of speed or handling! It's a win-win-win-win-etc-situation! Bonus: if you ever find yourself in Mongolia, Mozambique, Montreal, or some other exotic place, spare 26" wheels and tires will be found growing on trees thereabouts, while 700C bits will be unavailable at any price. At least that's what I hear.
This bike, as pictured, will be around $1550, but numerous equipment options (and prices) are possible. The base bike with stock parts (no pedals) is $1095.