Considering getting a steel bike and the Equilibrium 20 looks like it might hit the spot, when I can find a LBS that actually has it so that I can try it out.

Does anyone happen to know:

1. How good the paintwork is i.e. hardwearing? Just had a nightmare with Specialized paint. My previous Cannondale CAADX (powder coated) had few scratches after a year, the Specialized seems to accumulate them for a pastime.

2. Is it possible to get a 30T on a 105 or Tiagra compact while still leaving a good racing bottom end? I'm used to a bail-out 30T for the big damn hills around here and would like something similar without compromising the rest of the gearing ratio.

Any help appreciated.