Re: frames, rims, tires, etc.
A few days late, but don't go with steel rims. Pretty much everything TheNecromancer13 said; additionally, I recommend Continental Gatorskin tires, $50 apiece, but are puncture resistant and good for many miles. As for frame, if you're going cheaper brands (Huffy, Scwhinn, et cetera) go for steel, but a quality frame (Trek, Felt, even Surly), aluminum or steel works (if doing aluminum, put padding between mounts and the frame, otherwise the vibration can damage the frame). Personally, I love the Trek 820: great steel frame, good components (Bontrager and Shimano), and relatively cheap. Plus you don't need to do any wheelbuilding or bare frame assembly.