You know you have a good rider to bike relationship when you no longer have to think about what you are doing with regards to brakes, position, steering etc, and when you can just choose your line and go with it, taking in the scenery and not getting tunnel vision from thinking too hard about the technicalities!
It takes a few years to get it right, but when you do, you really get attached to your piece of steel, inspite of all it's squeaks, creaks and groans!
My recent addition to the bike has made it somewhat heftier, but making it looks so much more aggressive, and with that I am talking about my 2.4" Maxxis High roller 2s bought from Palace Cycles for 39.99 a piece (not cheap, but you get what you pay for with tyres). Coming from 2 lightweight cross country tyres, to these badboys meant that even on damp grass I could still keep control. I am yet to try them out in the mud and rain, but I have no doubts they will perform just as good as the original HighRoller, probably better.