This has been an interesting thread. I guess I am one of those guitar players who cannot articultate what he does with his left hand ('cept to say; It's one of these, without the F#)! I use a lot of variation of the chords I play and rarely know the names of them. I also love the sound of holding one note of one chord, into the chord of the next - and there are many combinations of these 'suspensions' I use. My chord modifications usually result from experimenting with melody or harmony lines within the chord pattern of the song (which sounds like what Mike is talking about above)
My musical education took a turn away from the books when I was young. I might have learned a lot of theory the hard way since then, and probably not so well ... but I always find it easier to play along with someone who is talking theory, then I do to communicate what we are doing - and I don't see my ignorance as an advantage!
This thread has been helpful for me. Thanks.