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Megan, ask your LBS about the Sun Cyckel. It's a 3 spd internal with no coaster and a nice lugged frame. They offer a step-through frame if you are interested, too. They should be available to just about any small shop.
Bike shop Schwinns are on par with anything else you'd see in a bike shop. While you can order (and occasionally see in the store) bike shop level bikes from a box store, the ones sold there are nowhere near the quality of even the cheapest bike shop bike. For that matter, there are rarely more than one size of any given model. I worked at Performance for a year and was always impressed with the 200 dollar level Schwinns and how well they came together at that price.