As an example of cost comparison, a new Kawasaki Vulcan 900 classic LT (for Light Touring) is around $10,000.00. A new 650 VStrom is around $8500.00. A Honda shadow 750 may cost less, but trust me, you wouldn't want to take one cross country. Even a 2014 1000 VStrom is "only" a shade above $12K, but a Kawasaki Nomad will set you back just under $18000. Granted, none of these bikes is cheap, but some are less than others. By the way, unless you are very long of leg, a 6509 VStrom is a very capable and comfortable for a coast to coast ride. If you want to really save money, there are plenty of used, low-mileage 650 VStroms available, and all years are reliable. A good '07 Wee could probably, depending on where you are, go for around $3500--$4000. That's not very expensive, and it would likely have some pretty good farkles, as well.
Damn, I wish bikes here in Oz were that cheap.
The '14 1000 is $16k plus on roads here, and that is for the base bike without any extras.
A used Wee starts at around the $5k mark.
Any of the twin spark plug, ABS fitted Wee-Stroms would be great.
My '09 Wee has carried me on many long trips loaded with luggage without missing a beat, by long I mean 14 days/4,000- 5,000 kms per trip.
Far cheaper to run and maintain than my BMW R1150GS was while still being as capable on dirt, and more versatile than my Goldwing for taking "detours"... the 'Wing is a very comfortable and easy ride, but much more a "good tar" bike than an all rounder like the Wee is.