I agree, mudguards are a key point. I'm not a fair weather rider (indeed, I commute all through winter), but I have another bike with guards which I ride when expecting to get wet. I did think about it for this machine, but I reckon in reality, I'd never fit them. I also agree that it's nice to see other peoples preferences and how they differ. I wouldn't dream of going back to downtube shifters personally!
- What is the bike going to be used for? You say a lightweight day bike, but you need to be more detailed than that. For example, if you are going to be going out for short 25 mile blasts, then your requirements are potentially going to be somewhat different from a bike on which you want to be able to go out and do a fastish 100 mile ride in country lanes
Typically I might do 2-3 centuries a year, always very hilly, and probably do at least one 50 mileish ride every week, as well as commuting. I currently run 50/34 11-28 and have never wanted for more gears. Lower gears for me are only required with luggage, so I'm not interested in the triple option. I really like compact double gearing. I know others don't, but it works perfectly for me.
I guess in my dotage I might progress to lower gears; ultegra 11 speed allows a 34t which is pretty low, and there's always the option to change to an Alpine double when I get really decrepit I think.