kasagray wrote:Does cyclocross bike allow attachment of panniers?
Some come with mounts others don't, but you can use P clips on frames that don't have mounts.
I've just started to ride a CX bike recently and it makes a very nice commuter, wider tyres and in my case a steel frame that really soaks up bumps. You could do all this with a flat bar or MTB too, but you mention you prefer drop bars. I'd also think about what else you may want to do in the future a CX would make a nice light touring bike or wet weather road bike, they are plenty fast on the road. As Euan mentioned a touring bike is another option, probably a bit heavier and most likely not as nimble as a CX bike. As always test a few a see what you like.
Some good deals out there
http://www.bikexchange.com.au/bicycles/masi/cyclocross/speciale-cx-uno/collingwood/vic/102010657 Nice steel frame, upgrade components as you go.