Specialized is your ticket
Like Kayaking, Road Biking has its share of opinions, take mine with this attitude.
Basically, Specialized is probably the best bang for your buck. Really great bikes at great prices that don't cut corners on things like brakes, seat posts, stems, etc.
In concur that Giant is good too.
I disagree with Trek. They're is really really overpriced relative to the quality of the product. Lance and Discovery rides them, which really pushed the prices high. You can spend significantly less on a Giant or Specialized and get a better ride.
If you go euro, you will be paying a hefty penny, but these brands are still arguably the best: Colnago, Look, Pinarello, etc.