What is a good method for finding a bike which matches my riding style, body measurements and bank account size when not able to actually go and try the given candidate bike model(s) in-person?
In my particular case, I live in a corner of the world where the type of bikes carried by almost all dealers (large and small) are in no way what I want: I want something akin to a classic "randonneuring" bike, but there is only one shop which "carries" anything close to that-- the shop has a single Kona Honky Tonk, and their solution would be to e.g. add fenders, racks, etc. Perhaps this is in fact a good solution, but I would like to have more than one available to me.
Obviously, I can do research on the Internet to find appropriate manufacturers/models (e.g. Kona, Surly, Salsa), but I would need to actually get one of these bikes, and they don't always deliver (I am outside the US, and it's even harder to find local brands which make similar bikes because everyone wants a bike suitable either for Grandma or for Lance Armstrong despite still riding in their Lycra more slowly than I can walk in ski boots).
However, even after finding a potential choice for me, how can I even know if it fits me?-- I'm not a freak or anything (180cm and ~67kg), but I do know how differently even different road bikes "feel", and so the idea of ordering a bike online sounds like a bad idea to begin with.
Although many bike components are more or less standardized to some extent, might I still not need to get some components which are "exotic" to my location, given that the bikes themselves are not sold here?-- having to mail-order a replacement for something which broke unexpectedly would be a tad annoying.
So, is there a reasonable non-local solution here for me, or might the best solution to simply be to do as the Romans do?
Thanks for the advice.