I very much enjoyed tagging a few levels of Bard onto a Barbarian build. In the end, I brought the Bard up to level 4, but I think I might go 5 if I had to do it all again. The rest of it was Barbarian, and I always made Barbarian higher. Thematically, he was a middle aged dwarven mercenary with a long history of being 'in the business'. His last contract went rather poorly and he ended up getting captured. Previous levels atrophied and he forgot more than you'll ever know about fighting, all the stories of his previous accomplishments forming the cornerstone of his Inspire Courage abilities. Mechanically, I liked being able to spend a round or two before the fight when I got a chance to cast a buff spell and cue up Inspire Courage prior to wading into combat. Defensive spells really helped with making my Barbarian live a little longer than he should have otherwise.