We at Brodie make two steel touring bikes: Elan and Argus and it's pretty much what you're looking for; steel, not too expensive and has all the rack and fender mounts.
How does the Elan/Argus frame compare to the previous-generation steel Ronin frame? I have the steel Ronin (mech discs, fenders, rack) and love it to bits. I like having a triple chainring too, I need that granny on climbs! Heavy bike overall, IMO, but such a super comfortable ride!
Flat bar vs. drops is personal preference - I've had carpel tunnel problem with my wrists in the past and find (on longer rides especially) my wrists are far more comfortable on the hoods of a road bar vs. a flat bar. I never use the drops, ever, just move from hoods to bar and back. Obviously, others find the FBR layout more comfortable, you certainly see more folks with FBRs on the commuter circuit.
Check out the Seattle used market - tons of good steel road bikes down there for great prices.