The Bikesdirect bikes are pretty fair bargains, but I say that only if you're handy with a wrench and have a good idea of sizintg yourself. I can't confirm, but the general rumour around the innerwebs is that the Bikesdirect bikes are actually Fuji frames that are several years old that Fuji's gone to something different. Carefully pick through the specs and be aware that the wheels may be the other end of the low-price point. I have seen some local guys race them and do pretty good but I think they're running some different hoops.
OR, Performance used to have (might still) have new Focus 'cross bikes - the low end ones (Comp?) - for under $1K. It's a great bargain and don't sweat the Tiagra stuff - I have the same Tiagra setup on the Mongoose 'cross bike and it actually shifts smoother than my all-Rival bike (and yes I've worked, and the bike shop has worked, on the Rival-equipped bike. It works great. The Tiagra is just smoother). check your LBS as well - since the 'cross season is over and it's new year-new inventory time you might get a grreat deal on last year's model while supporting your local shop.
And if Mitchell's used bikes fit you, it sounds like a pretty good deal, too.
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