Well, I ended up getting the SRAM Rival equipped bike from bikes direct. They had a last minute sale for $650. It came in the mail today and I put it together.
Holy monkey "poo poo" balls, this thing is fast. I tried to be clever and put my trek's seat post on it (it weighs less) but it didn't fit. I also over filled the rear tube with out thinking and blew it out. There's a shitty wal mart tube in there for now (the stem barely sticks out of the rim, lol) until it blows or i'm unlazy enough to make the 20 minute drive to the nearest LBS. It shifts great out of the box, and I'm starting to really like the double tap system. That up shift on the crank is HUGE, though I'm spoiled by the Deore XT triggers on my MTB. And the brakes, despite being cheap tektros and not SRAM, haul this thing to a stop like its nothing. I ordered a size slightly too large for myself on purpose (I have a long torso/short legs for my height) and its amazingly comfortable reach wise; the front axle is exactly under the bars with I'm in the drops. The only thing I have to be careful about is nutting myself when I come to a stop and flat foot it. I'm debating moving the stem down on the tube, which is funny because I originally thought I'd be flipping the stem so the bars were higher. It turns out I like the monkey "procreating" a football ergonomics (then again, I DO find CBR1000RR's comfortable). All in all I'm happy with the purchase and will probably use bikes direct again in the future if I ever buy another bike.
Also- for the record- granny rings are for sissies
Where I live granny rings are a necessity.
Going to the lowest gear on the bike is actually pretty close to a 1 to 1 gear ratio (34 front, 32 rear), making it shorter than most triple crank equipped road bikes (think 30 front, 24-28 rear). So its kind of a hidden granny ring.