One time a team mate suggested squeezing a Gu into a bottle of energy drink. This was the most disgusting thing I've ever tried. Thankfully it was during one of my diligent phases and I tried it in training first.
I don't necessarily notice the effects (or lack thereof) of a sports drink during a ride. When I do notice it is after the ride, when I will feel wasted and recover slowly. This was in full effect a few weeks ago, after I did that 75 mile ride on just one bottle.
Gu is a team sponsor, and until about two days ago I coordinated that deal for our team. Gu2O is a fine product that works well. It doesn't give you wings or anything, but the mango flavor tastes good, and it seems to hook me up. He big feature of Gu2O is that it is NOT at all syrupy sweet.
Gatorade, on the other hand, is pretty sweet tasting. It has two big advantages - a bucket of mix that will last three months is about $10, and it's available everywhere. Many are the rides when some backwater convenience store's stock of Gatorade hooked me right up. Any flavor that is blue? Yeah, I avoid those.
Water works great for anything less than about 90 minutes, but if I've done a hard workout I will definitely down some sports drink afterwards to help recover, even if the ride was short.