For those of you who don't know, the single most important thing about any bicycle is its wheels. Surprising, I know.
Anyways, when looking at or building a touring bike, you should expect to spend an inordinate amount of your budget on the wheels. Heck, you can use a recycled old mountain bike frame you got for free from your landlord's garage and crap components. As long as you have a good wheelset, you'll probably make it to where you're going.
Hey! That's exactly what I'm doing!