I've picked up the bike after a week in the shop for an overhaul. It only set me back about $800, and for that, it almost looks brand new. The rear cassette is a revelation - it's actually sparkling silver in colour, rather than the drab black that I am used to. Maybe the old one started off as shiny, and only started looking horrid because of a lack of cleaning.
I have to take it for a test ride this afternoon - after a full strip down and rebuild, some things might be a bit loose or misadjusted. I can't wait to see what it is like with no creaks and groans - the only creaks and groans are likely to come from me.
The blokes at the shop even touched up the paint for me, which was a bit scratched in places from me leaning the bike on brick walls and then watching it fall over.
Another good thing is that they replaced the rear tyre, which was becoming see-through. I am hopeless at judging when my tyres are too badly worn.