I've owned 2 Vstroms, 2 Tiger 955, Ulysses, and now I finally bought a 1150GSA. There's something different that I can't identify well. All the others were more comfortable than my other bikes that were more sport or sport touring, but yet the GSA just feels- better. I'll be darned if I can put into words why but it does. It corners amazing and handles rough stuff like it was flat. I think part of it is that BMW thumbed their nose at the 'needs' of short riders and made a bike for tall folk. Sure, the Tiger was that too, and its a great bike, but it doesn't handle like the GS and still has those darn shims to deal with for valve adjustments. A big factor for me is ease of maintenance.
However, after working on bikes my whole life it does seem the BMW requires a re-education. But that's easily accomplished on here; it just takes a little time. Personally I don't want to be yanking cams every 6 months on any bike, I want to pull out my stool and a few tools and adjust valves in 15 minutes.
I paid too much for my bike, double what a similar Vstrom or Tiger would have cost. But on each of those I was thinking how to make it better within a week. So far on the GS I can't think of a thing I'd change. And for a bike whore like me that's a major deal. Heck, for once I've finally quit even looking at other bikes- for the first time in 40 years. I'm hoping my bike is as reliable as it now seems, but if it isn't I'll bitch then fix it and still enjoy something that finally has the mysterious 'fit'.