Dear Br. Zubair,
Thank you for sharing your journey to this point. I feel that you had the same questions and you had the similar background as I had. Sometime I miss the 'hulway' and 'koonday' but I don't regret getting rid of those festivals.
I also read Dr. Shabbir's post 'Does Hadith Explain NAMAAZ?'.
Now there is no room for me to say that we should perform namaaz.
If I don't perform namaaz what I should be doing to implement the salaat? How I will connect with Allah SWT?
What do you mean by "Now I enjoy my life to the fullest."? I think we are saying that "namaaz is not salaat" so we still have to implement salaat.