I get a lot of questions from people about how they should set up their new bike, and if they should actually get a new one entirely. Most frames have a lot of possibilities, so I pulled a bunch of photos of different builds I've seen attempted, all from the same frame model. I used the Surly Cross Check not because I think it's the ideal frame, but there are a lot of easy to find photos of it and it's pretty easy to recognize. Similar things can be done with a basic old chromoly sports touring frame of a decent quality. Tire/fender clearance is key, drop out type is important, and fender/rack eyelets help a bunch. There are other considerations regarding geometry worth looking into before you throw all your eggs in one basket, but hopefully this will help you percolate a bit.
Commuterish drop bar dealie.
More upright position with porteur rack. (oops, not actually X check...)
Cyclocross racer [what the frame is originally design for but not limited to.]
Cargo Kid Hauler.
Single Speed w/ basket.
Dave' carry-every-damn-thing-possible bike. Lotsa not stock-bike shit going on here.
Too cute not to post.
Despite all these interesting variations, this is what 8O% of the Cross Checks look like when they come out of a bike shop. There are a lot of questions to be asked about accessibility, price, purpose, preference, but don't feel too defeated by a frame just because it isn't perfect the way you got it.