climo wrote: It seems that you have to be joined to your bike at all times to avoid theft or damage. If so what is the point of touring?
realistically you can have a perfectly capable touring bike that isn't such a thief magnet, so for touring, I'd tend to choose one of those over a bike that is some kind of 'aspirational lifestyle statement' or something, especially if my tour involved leaving the bike places. The chances are that if you break it, lose it or whatever, it'll be cheaper to replace, too. For urban/commuting use, the same theory applies, with knobs on.
Life is a lot easier if you commute on a bike that other folk won't give a second look at, because it is far more likely to be there when you want to ride home again.
Where this approach falls down for touring is when you get to things like Rohloff hubs. These are often bought for very good practical reasons, and a few years ago these were not targeted by scumbags and therefore not liable to be swiped. But now that is all different.
Even so I'd argue that anyone claiming they 'need one' for their daily commute is probably a bit nuts (or has an extraordinary commute) and something else would do just as well at a fraction of the price.
So this might all sound deeply cynical. Maybe it is, too. But if the conclusion is deeply practical, who cares how you got there?