I love the taste of coke too. Don't drink it very often because it isn't that great for you, but I don't think any carbonated beverage is so I might as well have "the real thing" if I'm going to slip off the soft drink wagon.
I used to be addicted to Pepsi, sometimes drinking as many as 4 cans a day. My wife and I dropped the habit 3 or so years ago, we are now addicted to Ginger Ale, which is still not good, but it doesn't have any cola in it, and has about half the sugar of Pepsi. I could never stand Coke, and on the rare occasions when I do drink a cola, I'll choose Pepsi every time.
Finy, maybe the 'after-taste' was due to you're not drinking ENOUGH of it! Lol!
Also, check the UNIT price of those 'little' cans. You'll find they're probably MORE expensive than the normal 375ml! They're a marketing ploy!