Wow....2 years ago....I think you're memory of sensations is very good, DesertSurfer. I think you've described the F800GS performance down the street and highway very accurately. Other than, maybe a lot of front end brake dive (in forks) its quite accurate to what I experienced.
First order of business for me was to unwind all the ergos and open up the riding stance, which I have done successfully.
Absolutely no doubt mine 950 was truly exhilarating to twist the throttle on the highway. The grin factor was very big. I still get a similar thing on my F800, but for a little bit different reason. The smoothness of the 85 hp acceleration really makes me smile. That might be the "getting older" part of my equation.
Its that grinning power rush, that seemed to work against me in the tight stuff....combined with what I thought was a pitiful turning radius on my 950, that I couldn't fix easily. The 950 wanted to fall inward into a full-lock, tight slow speed turn (heavily), whereas my F800 stays quite balanced in more of a neutral weight bias during same maneuver.
To be certain, I have a smaller WR250R that I flog the single track with. But I keep finding myself out in the tight stuff on my long adventure trips....often solo in places I probably ought not to be. Is there corrective psyco-therapy for that behavior?
Maybe that's the underlying issue for me. Somewhere deep within, I realized I was going to get my 950 ship into a bottle that I couldn't squeeze back out. I feel more "solo-confident" on my F800. I think I'm less likely to get myself into bad trouble (read smoother more linear power) and pick it up, turn it around and vamoose when I realize what I've done.
My 950 would unexpectedly die on me for no apparent identifiable reason. This became somewhat annoying and made me nervous about getting too deep on a solo excursion. It shook my confidence. I always got it going again, eventually, for no logical reason. Never did figure that one out....and I'm a fairly decent mechanic. The worst part: it was completely unpredictable. No identifiable pattern or diagnosible symptom. Fuel + fire = run.....I know....there are only so many pieces to the puzzle. I finally chocked it up to bad Kharma....