I finally bit the bullet and purchased a bike to ride for my sprint triathlon that is scheduled for July. I didn't go too high-end on the purchase but spent enough to get me started. I went with the Trek FX 7.2 which is an entry-level hybrid bike.
It's still a bit cold to ride - at least for me but I have it and now have made a firm financial commitment to train and complete the triathlon. Real training begins April 1st.
I'm satisfied with my purchase but really don't have any baseline comparison. I know others spend thousands more than me but I just want to finish the race. Now it's time to get busy!