I really like my green machine, I did 110km in 2 days (70,40) the first weekend and find it easy to ride. I came from an old bike-shop special hybrid style which was always uncomfortable.
Only real problem - after a VERY minor sideways bump up a 3cm kerb my back wheel buckled a bit but was okay to ride home. Frightened me how easy it happened. Had the bike shop "true" the wheel and after another ride heard some spoke-creaking and a bit more wobble had developed. Evidently to "true" a wheel does NOT include a proper spoke-tensioning. I found www.sheldonbrown.com
on the internet and learnt how to do it myself. At least now my spokes all play same tune when flicked. The front wheel must be made on a different machine as mine is much better tensioned and true straight 'out of the box'. Definitely taking my spoke-spanner and doing my own service from now on...
Like Janey I am a bit doubtful about the clunky gears. The rear derailleur is a bit light-duty and my cable exhibited quite a bit of stretch - the adjustment is pretty fine to get the bottom cogs to match the shifter positions and line up smoothly. I suggest that if you don't know about it get someone to show you how to do it yourself. Really easy when you know how. While you're there silicon-lube the cables (and everything).
Likewise the bearings (both the wheels and the centre bracket) were all way too tight and presented rather high rolling resistance. Again, full info is on that website - especially about how to correctly tension bearings on quick-release axles.
Like others have stated, this is the only bike I am riding now, so I'm trying to wear out any problems before the big tour.
I have swapped the seat, pedals to 'clipless' (the ones that clip in!!!) added bar-ends, gel handgrips, an adjustable riser stem (I'm tall) and my old baby-seat carrier. I took the advice to buy a computer with cadence indication, and absolutely agree that higher cadence works really well. About 90 rpm works great for me - so I am training solely on keeping cadence about there. That and ride-time so I can drink every 10 minutes and I can go until my knees wear out. I feel confident the bike will go much longer than me...
Back to the saddle.
p.s. If you are trusting enough to use a bike shop for servicing, check their booking schedule. e.g. one in Fremantle is currently booked for two and a half weeks ahead.