I liked Misty serving as a mentor-type to Ash. It was unfortunate she kinda faded into the background with Togepi, combined with Ash growing as a trainer and surpassing her. Granted, even though I find her motherly self in Johto less interesting, I do like how she was in several competitions like the Whirl Cup. It does bug me how the writers used the romance angle with her and Ash in a pretty chaste show. I'm sure there could be some way to have Misty serve as "eye candy" without the whole fruitless romance schtick consuming her.