In another (more serious (a bit longwinded)) attempt at answering my own question:
In short: I think the main reason that I "like" magic is the constant source of "brain food"
No matter how much I search for the perfect: move, method, effect, presentation, (etc.) there always seems to be room for improvement.
I think about magic while walking to work, while taking a crap, as I do daily chores, as I lay in bed before sleep, etc...
I can't live without passing a deck (vanishing a coing, etc.) over and over (each time, thinking what would make it better.)
I can't live without the latest 'book.'
(Though I can usually live without the latest vids :)
I think the 'brain food' is why the craft (art?) attracts so many great minds (thinking of magi like: Houdin, Hofzinser, Elmsley, Andrus, Green, Maven, Blomberg ;) Etc, etc, etc, there's so many.
A few random thoughts:
I could exist without performing magic.
I do perform... because If I didn't, then the 'food' might not appeal to the laity and without performance, there is no magic.
Sometimes I like performing, sometimes I don't. Side note: I've learned to despise "strolling" (but that's another post for another day.)
I could live without the praise (of Magi and Laymen.) I have managed to attain a (small) amount of recognition (due-to publication of my material (mags and books.) My goal in having such notoriety is mainly to break the walls that exist between the 'amateur' and 'the pros' (as well as "the insiders" and "the outsiders.") Having a name/book is helpful in meeting some of those 'great minds.' A selfish reason perhaps, but (sometimes) when ya meet the 'good guys' you get good recipes! (Of course sometimes ya get sauerkraut.)
Another sidenote: I could certainly live without all the magi-ego-tists that waste my time.
Anyway, I'll just bet I'm overstaying my "bandwith welcome.'
Is that the kind of answer ya had in mind Richard?
in pursuit of the illusive miracle,