I used to battle competitively so much in generation 4. Haven't kept up with it since. --- http://i.imgur.com/owg7M.jpg http://i.imgur.com/VQ1XI.png http://i.imgur.com/PqjhbZm.jpg http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/8492/4cxl.png
Like you, I've played since Red/Blue but I didn't really start to get into competitive battling till Heart Gold. Once you get going it's really fun. The most annoying thing about it is definitely the IV part of the equation. I actually like EV training though.
Once I learned about the metagame and built a competitive team (roughly) I destroyed all my friends at school (this was in highschool). They didn't really know anything about Iv's/Ev's/Stabs ect. Knowing what types were effective against others was the extent of their knowledge.
I played a friend of mine who had ridiculously hacked Pokemon. Like, the amount of Ev's per stat far exceeded the 252 limit. I was able to beat him repeatedly though because I knew what I was doing. Which was neat, because It took me a while to build a decent team and learn about prediction and stuff like that. So seeing my hard work pay off was awesome.
I got a TON of practice using emulators like Pokemon Online. I made a whole new team and learned a lot from those matches. I still play occasionally. I do pretty well, but I still lose every now and again.
If you ever wanted to try out competitive battling (or just learn more) without all the effort in game, you should check out a program similar to the one I mentioned. Experience is worth a whole lot.
I didnt....until gen IV. Spent soo much time battling over wifi on my pokemon pearl haha. I've also played on pokemon online servers and smogon a bit but not hardcore or anything. --- "Hey would you say I became a hero"-Zack Fair