I am a sport-tourer, right now I've got a 1997 Kawasaki Concours C10 (or ZG1000 or GTR1000). Safety? Well, like any sport tourer it is kinda heavy, and it was designed in 1986 so since it came out there have been lighter and easier to handle bikes put out. But it's not too much of a monster. I can handle it fine at 6' and only 150lbs.
The brakes are more than sufficient for me, and it has plenty of get-up-and-go to power away from any unfriendly situation. It handles quite well IMO.
Comfort is highly subjective, some love the C10 in stock form, some love it only when modified, some hate it any way you stack it. Mine is mostly stock in terms of comfort... stock seat, stock bars, stock footpegs. Mine does have a massive Clearview shield with a vent, and it really does block all the wind but the vent allows a soft breeze to get on your face. I like mine stock, I routinely ride 1.5-2 hours several times a week.
Kawasaki Concours, Suzuki Bandit 1200S and 1250, Yamaha FJR 1300, BMW k1200 series, Triumph Tiger, and what's that thing chromekid01 rides? It's a ducati Multi strada. There are a bunch...but there are some to do some research on.
I've just recently gotten into riding again and did quite a bit of research before buying my new ride. I've ridden every kind of bike there is and they all have their place for sure. I decided on the Sport-Touring rig (2007 FJR1300) because to me it filled more niches than anything else I could think of. It's faster than most folks need. The seating position is pretty much straight up with just a "slight" forward lean (unless I add risers). It handles GREAT and has super breaks. I think it's personal preference as to which one to get. They all have their pluses and minuses like all the other bike styles. At first the bike might seem heavy but as soon as it starts to move it becomes amazingly agile. The fun factor is awesome on these bikes. They are definitely made to "crunch some miles" if you want to take a long jaunt. If you do mostly touring at a leisurely pace I'd probably go for a strictly touring bike. The only thing it doesn't do well at all at is ride "offroad". Sure............ all bikes can be ridden offroad to an extent......... but for mine a hard dirt road is about the extent of it and then I hope it's not a long one. Good luck and enjoy the research (one of the most fun parts lol).
I have seen an Interceptor (VFR800) riding around town here, and it looks like an excellent choice. There are touring accessories available for it:
Color-matched hard saddlebags
Sport touring trunk
Saddlebag liner set
The one I saw had the color-matched saddlebags. It looked very nice.
I did a lot of research on different models. I was really looking at a Triumph Sprint before I stumbled across some good comparisons between them and an FJR.
I really like mine, comes with the luggage, ABS front and rear standard, and a comfortable seating position as well.
I really like mine and am constantly receiving compliments on it.
If you take off the tour bags it looks like a super-sized sport bike with an upright seat.
Here's the 2008 shootout of the top sport-touring rigs. As you can see they all have their pluses and minuses. It's just a matter of which one says "Oh yeahhhhhh Baby!!" None of them are slouches and will make fine mounts.