I popped into a new place in South Manchester recently, (Punta Velo in Didsbury), where a nice chap called Graham is selling Bullit cargo bikes from Copenhagen, and some exotic Italian road bikes going by the name of Ciocc (I thought he said this was pronounced Church, but I've since heard it's "che-oh-ch" which sounds a bit more plausible). As an example, the Columbus steel race frame was just over a grand including custom tube lenths and paintjob, and he reckoned was lighter than 953. The top-end carbon race frame was £2k, but that's also fully custom, built to order in 6 weeks. The 'Extro', an aero-looking endurance frame was £1400, also including a custom paint job (I think that might have been a monocoque though, so no custom sizing). Apparently they're still handmade in Italy in the same way (wrapping further carbon on top once the tubes are bonded together) as Time still do it in France, not in the far east. There are also retro steel frames with fancy lugwork and chrome forks etc, a Titanium frame, fixies etc.
Anyway, they sound like a bit of a bargain to me, just wondered if anyone else knew anything about them? I posted not long ago about thoughts for a dream bike build for my 40th birthday, and regarding the frame, these guys are now firmly on the shortlist.
Incidentally, Graham was very pragmatic about his business. For servicing, builds, race preparation (whatever that is?) and the above he looks like he's probably a good guy to know. He did say that he's not bothering to stock most other products because he can't compete with CRC, Wiggle, Merlin etc.