A good mounting bar certainly makes the job a lot more pleasant. I bought a hybrid bar (No Mar demount tip and Mojo Lever mounting end) from a guy on a Suzuki forum a few years back. Works like a champ.And I second John Z...put that thing in the sun for a while!
I've posted my NoMar experience and I think the Dismounting bar is a big key to getting the tire on and off. (You can buy those separately from the company).
Don't want to get into a tire argument here but don't count out the Shinko's! I put a Raven 009 on the Versys before I traded it. I wanted a more sporty tire as opposed to a 40/60 type. Had about 1500 miles on it and they were nice! And...$92 + tax at Cycle Gear!!! I'm hearing awesome reviews on the PR5's in handling but I've also heard that they're wearing just the same as some of the others.
I also have the HF setup; car tire base and motorcycle tire upper. Worked OK as it comes out of the box, but was always paranoid about scratching rims. Mojo Blocks help hold the tire much better and remove the risk of scratching. The blocks and the mounting bar take the HF setup from blah to awesome.
I'd rather have the full No Mar rig if money were no object, but the modified HF setup certainly does a great job for a fraction of the cost.