It never lost it for me, had a time between 2001 and 2008 when I didn't ride as much as kids came along. I don't like the current winch and plummet nature of bikes, seems to be another move to short attention span sports (20:20 cricket, Sprint races in F1 etc).
But looking back nothing after...
Maybe my riding isn't "rad or gnarly" enough, but I've never really had problems with stuff repeatedly breaking or wearing out quickly, bitd or now, old or new. STW seemed to be filled with people bragging how much stuff they had broken, like a badge of honour.
As for cars, new cars are...
Is the B-Link extender the correct orientation. The original seems to step the mech outboard a little, yours steps in inboard a little. If it was the other way round would it sit against the hanger better? I mean switch it end to end, rather than back to front.
Hard to tell without seeing the...
The extender piece is about Shimano's direct mount system. In essence some bikes (mine included) have a longer mech hanger and you remove that link piece. In your photo that link piece (B-Link) should be facing backwards from the mount.
Shimano dropped that design for 12 speed
I'm looking for an RD-M735 long cage rear mech. Not looking for a spotless one, something to go on a bike to be ridden. I have a RD-M750 rear mech to swap, it is in similar state i.e. been used, but in good working order. If you are interested drop me a PM and we can exchange photos