nothing beats a cross bike or a dedicated touring rig for commuting. I commuted for years on a converted mtb, but then switched over to a cross rig, and it's way better. especially with a triple.
Oh, and there are two types of lighting, to be seen, and for you to see. don't skimp here, get the latter. I had hi-low beams, and a dedicated power system. and it was still too dim at times.
a near-death experience is just god following "catch and release" regulations...
john (johnny) henley