Last weekend, I saw my first 'longtail' bikes - I had read about the Surly Big Dummy before, as well as the XtraCycle (which adapts an existing bike), but never seen a longtail bike in person. I saw the Yuba Mundo, a hefty bicycle which has an industrial strength rack. It's no speed machine, but it rode fairly well - and would carry an awful lot.
I rode the Mundo, it felt just like a regular bike. It didn't feel like I had a huge wheel sticking out behind me. This is just what's required. It'd be the perfect bike for taking loads from A to B, if speed wasn't critical. If memory serves, the one I rode was fitted with pedalites (which I have fitted on my current bike).
The Mundo would be a good choice for an individual wanting to be as car-free as possible. The Mundo comes in any colour you like, as long as it's red (for 1 speed) or blue (for 6 speed).
A review of the Mundo is available here.
The Ute was another Longtail bicycle on display. The Ute didn't seem to be as rugged as the Yuba Mundo, however it also didn't appear as clunky - more 'regular bike'. But then, thought I, if you want a regular bike, you wouldn't get a longtail at all!