Every time I read a post from someone looking for a commuter bike for "under $600" or the like, I want to yell, "haven't you heard of Craigslist?"
Here's a 1960s Huffy Sportsman that has everything I'm looking for in a commuter bike. It has three speeds, which is all you need in flat Sacramento. It has a rear rack for mounting panniers or a grocery basket. It has fenders for rainy days, north road bars for an upright riding position and it's as solid as a tank.
And, it's listed for sale for $100. One hundred dollars! Think how many fewer tears you'd shed when this gets stolen than if the same fate befell your $800 Breezer...
It's offered by Vintage Bicycle Supply in Sacramento, a shop that always has something worth seeing and riding. Check it out here.