It always interests me to know how a person arrives at their preference for a specific bicycle, especially people of different skill levels. Unlike me, the Co-Habitant is naturally athletic, handles a roadbike like it's nobody's business, and loves speed. And yet, he chose a sedate, stately roadster as his daily commuter - complete with such distinctly non-sporty features as full chaincase and dressguard.
To be honest, when we first bought the Pashleys I assumed that he was getting the Roadster mainly for my benefit - so that we'd have matching bikes. When we later got roadbikes, I expected him to gradually transition to riding his roadbike to work, and to only ride the Pashley when out with me. But nothing of the sort happened. He loves his Roadster and has been commuting on it faithfully for over a year now, snow days included. When I ask him why he prefers such an enormous and heavy bicycle to his faster and more agile roadbike, his answer is that the Pashley is "the most comfortable bike [he has] ever ridden." A straightforward enough reply that explains how two cyclists with different skill levels can ultimately choose similar bicycles for their practical, everyday needs.
The terms "commuter bike" and "practical bike" can mean completely different things to different cyclists. There is a school of thought out there positing that relaxed and upright bicycles are mainly for those who are inexperienced, afraid of car traffic, or lack physical stamina - and that as a rider grows more confident, they will naturally come to prefer a faster and sportier bike for commuting. But clearly that is not the case. A runner can still prefer walking as a means of getting around in their everyday life, and a bicycle racer can prefer commuting on a beach cruiser in flip-flops. It's really all about individual perspectives.