Help Anna Find the Perfect Bike

Anna, a student, wrote to us to say

I have this dream bike in my head, but I’m not sure if it exists. I need something light and fast like a road bike, but that can also handle a little off-roading once in a while. It’s got to be comfy, fit me and be super durable (I’ll probably keep this one through college and beyond if it makes it). It would be awesome if I could go long-ish distances on it, and it wasn’t ridiculously expensive. It would also be awesome if it had a brown leather seat and was…oh, say, candy apple green (I’m a teenager, this stuff matters.) It would be SUPER awesome if I could order it online, since I’ve already snooped around in my local bike shop.

and asked,

Got any recommendations? Does my dream bike exist?

Readers, considering Anna is a student that limits her options on budgets and a custom builder, so what can we recommend to her? My first response is a cyclocross bike.