Man, I had a bottle of Otter Creek's Russian Imperial Stout while I watched Battlestar Galactica last night, and now my head feels like I spent an hour in the ring with Ivan Drago. It's quite tasty, though.
Fortunately, it's passing. I never really ever get hung over, but I can definitely tell when I should've had a glass or two of water before bed.
As for 0racle's questions, I drink (well, beer, anyway) because, for the most part, I enjoy the taste. If I can't find one that I like, I'm not compelled to drink for the sake of drinking. For instance, if I'm at a restaurant or a party and the only choices are Coors Light or water, I'll choose water.
On its own, a good beer is a far more interesting beverage than a soft drink. It's amazing how they can wring so many differences in taste, bouquet, color, and body out of (usually) just four ingredients. The right beer can accompany a dish just as well, if not better, than wine. It's all about complementary flavors.
After a while, you even begin to appreciate the nuances different hops offer. Some may be sharp and acidic, others may be light and floral, some taste like grapefruit, some taste like pine resin, some just taste like hops. I'm partial to Hallertau and Cascade hops, but also enjoy Fuggles and Kent Goldings.
Damn it, this is starting to get too beer-snobby.
Anyway, my first was Alexander Keith's (so-called) India Pale Ale (which it so isn't). It was a wonderful introduction because it was neither overwhelming nor overly bland. It had some character, but it didn't stray too far from the safe harbor of mass-produced ales.
Do not buy any beer in clear or green glass! It's far more likely to have gone skunky, because neither clear nor green glass are as good at blocking UV light as brown glass.