[*]How do you play Pokemon games now you understand about all the underlying systems? Is there any merit in playing the way I am considering with a bred team?
I'm playing how it should be played. I decide on my 4 team members (usually normal/flying, steel, dragon and ice) before starting and use them when I can. This can lead to some interesting challenges too (lol doing Watson with a Swellow).
[*]Why do you play Pokemon? Do you ever come close to recreating that initial buzz that got you into Pokemon in the first place?
Because I enjoy it. These games have huge replay value as you can simply use a different team every time. Initial buzz? Only when a new pokemon game gets released.
[*]Would you go back to ignorant bliss if you could?
I always tend to have more fun playing games when I'm a complete noob. Boredom tends to come with knowledge. So yeah, I probably would, but that's kind of impossible :)