I found this wonderful post thanks to Twitter and @Letsgorideabike (check out their excellent blog). There are a ton of great comments (from men and women alike) describing their experience at bike shops while searching for the right bike.
With any major purchase I encourage you to do your research. Seek out opinions from a diverse group of people and don't be talked out of something by a single voice. Finding the right bike is a personal journey. Don't think that you don't have choices, because you do.
So take a minute to read this post on Grit & Glimmer and especially read through the comments.