I'm an author with several well-received books under my belt. When I was searching for agents I ended up taking the first one who wanted. Now I'm wondering if I made a good choice. Having only had one agent, I don't know what constitutes an effective client/agent relationship.
Whenever I speak to my agent she always checking email and I feel like I only have half her ear. She never seems interested in following up on the progress of various sub right, royalty payments and pending contracts. When I have a new project to sell she generally groans and says she's swamped with reading material. There are times I'd like to ask her opinion on a book idea to see if its marketable before I invest time in, but I never do because she doesn't seem to encourage that sort of thing.
To her credit, she is a savvy negotiator, and manages to get good deals but that's pretty much all she does for me. It would be nice if you could explain some of things an author can expect from her agent. Maybe I'm wanting too much. Although I only talk to her only every six months or so I always feel I'm imposing on her.
You sound like those ex husbands in romance novels who wake up one morning and decide they’ve missed out on all those available women and want to go explore. What you want to avoid is discovering you’ve got a great agent only after you fire him/her.
The person you need to say all this is your agent. All of us fall into slack habits and checking email while we're hand holding could very well be one of them. (Talking about book ideas may not be your definition of hand holding but it might be his/hers).
Her slacking off on sub rights may be because someone else handles that (Miss Snark farms out her sub rights left and right) and you asking just means she has to email and ask someone else.
You want to ask yourself too if you're willing to lose a "savvy negotiator" for someone more touchy feely. No agent is perfect (except Miss Snark of course, but even then, only if you understand her social skills were learned at shark school).