The Allez is a really solid choice, Specialized sell bags of them for a reason.
I've been looking at a few bikes this morning, and my local shop website have a specialized Allez '13 In stock. I'm not sure what sizes they have, so might pop down and have a look in the minute or tomorrow.
Before i go head first into all this, i'm practically new to cycling, i havn't done it in a while, and just always used other peoples bikes for a while and just gone out and done what ever.
I live in cornwall, its rather hilly, and the main roads are extremely busy. Theres plenty of back roads, and a few national trust parks, woods etc that have mixed pavements to get in between places.
So i'm not sure whether to go road, or get a hybird like a giant escape? this is going to sound petty, i don't really like the triangle frame shape these other (yeah i havn't considered comfort
In general i want to use it as a fitness thing, but make it fun to do as well. And once i get used to it and more experienced on the roads, try longer distances. But i'm not made of money and want to make this an investment at the same time.
With the compact gearing that nearly all road bikes have you should be able to tackle pretty steep hills too. On road bikes you can now get up to a 32 tooth cassette on the back (provided you get a matching derailleur) and that's really, really low gearing.
Road bikes give you a range of positions and are a more flexible prospect than a hybrid. If you're going to woods etc then you might consider looking at a Specialized Tricross too.