Since hybrid bikes may be a compromise with no benefits, why are they still often preferred for commuting instead of drop bar bikes?
According to at least one opinion, hybrids are a compromise with no benefits. What is the downside to me purchasing a road bike instead of a hybrid?
Using drops bars instead can make you a few mph faster because the posture makes it more aerodynamic. I felt that my road bike with a pannier was faster than my hybrid bike without it! It seems like a lot of cycling commuters I see are missing out. My city's pretty bike friendly.
From what I've read, bikes with drop bars can be comfortable, be affordable, have wider tires, have fenders, and carry panniers.
Some of those features are more common in cyclocross and touring bikes than road bikes.
Interestingly, people find that drop bars make the bike more comfortable for longer distances. Often, when there's discomfort, bike fit or changing the posture or pedalling form is recommended. If the rider isn't used to such a low posture, the stem could be raised.
It's possible to get a used bike with a drop bar at a reasonable price. If a faster bike makes you drive less, you might save more even if you had to pay more for a faster bike and its parts.
It's possible to get bikes that have eyelets for mounting racks for panniers, and fenders. If they don't have them, it's possible to get adapters so that they could be mounted. Another option is bikepacking bags.
So far, the only advantages of hybrid bikes that I know of are peripheral vision and braking power. In bike friendly cities, they shouldn't be as much of an issue.