Thanks guys, the tip about the Greenlines sounds scary! Thanks for the heads-up.
I have decided that for this build I want to try my hand at making an in-frame gas tank. Probably fiberglass since I do not have the equipment to weld or braze on hand, but we shall see. So that means I will want a frame that suits one.
I like the standard cantilever frame like on the Cranbrook, I just worry that I will be one of those that gets a dud and the frame cracks at speed and I eat asphalt. I was hoping that spending $100 - $200 more that I could get something that would require less upfront upgrades and peace of mind.
BTW, this is the black Cranny I got off CL for $25 (one of the pedals was cracked badly, so I spend another $15 for a new generic set of pedals):
But I have been forbidden to motorize that one since it matches my wife's Panama Jack Huffy, lol.
So, I guess my big question is this: is there a noticeable difference in the frames and running gear of single speed $100 - $150 bikes and $250 - $300 bikes? As Glenn mentioned, I can buy some pretty nice brakes and upgrades with the money saved by using cheaper starting point. It seems like it is still a matter of luck until you get into the $500+ range...