Just wanted to add my 2 cents on being a bard.
The reason i chose one was because I liked playing instruments :) simple reason, but once I chose bard, I found that I liked it and stuck with it.
Might be my desire to play primary support classes (rdm, whm, brd), but I've found bard pretty fun. While not singing songs, I still do engage in battle with my small dagger, and while I do very little dmg, it's fun for me to still build TP and perticipate in chains now and then :)
But that's not the point of being a bard, heh. it's the songs. Granted I'm only a lvl24 Bard, so haven't hit the higher lvl songs yet (eg Mage's Ballad - one lvl away from that), I've found that I do help the pt a lot, and I typically get re-invites from the same people many times.
As mentioned before, say after the battle your enemy has done a few area attacks - just slap on Paeon I and II, and your regening HP at about 3 HP per 2-3 secs. Time for your whm to rest, and your whole PT is regaining HP in the meantime.
In a battle at this point, the most helpful songs appear to be Valor II and Sword Madrigal (ATK+ and ACCURACY+). If your fighting a monster that you rarely miss, I throw on 2 Valors (I and II). That makes my atk somewhere from 86 to 120 or something. (I forget exactly). Now imagine that increase across all the melee characters in your group. That's a substantial boost.
Anyway, I can post more about my experiences at a later time - for now, I gotta run. Hope that helps anyone w/ their decision :)