One thing that has always struck me in my games is that magus PCs almost invariably spend a lot of effort ammassing magical power - studying the Arts and other arcane abilities, pursuing mysteries, crafting or chasing magical artifacts, vis and books... On the other hand, there's very little time spent carousing, tending one's garden, courting one's lady love, reading or composing poetry, helping the poor and the sick etc. In other words, it seems to me that the "average" person today, given the amount of power and freedom from need that even a newly gauntleted magus has, would not be nearly as driven on ammassing power as most PCs I see. If you won 100 million euros at the lottery, would you spend most of your life studying finance and trying to aggressively invest them and increase your capital, or would you just "enjoy" them?
Is it just my troupe? I suspect not; indeed, even the Ars magica guidelines for older character creation seem to assume that a magus will spend most of his free time ammassing power.
From a player's perspective, it may seem reasonable: you are playing a game about magic, why would you want your character to focus on gardening? On the other hand, one can equally easily tell stories involving a magus that has little more magical experience than after his gauntlet - and who would just live a quiet and happy life - and is pulled into the story against his will, or perhaps willingly but for a very mundane goal.
Also, the players can really depict their characters as power-crazed as they want - that's their choice. But the NPCs are another story altogether. Do you think it makes sense that most NPC magi would have the same attitude? Sure, Tremere are ambitious, and with their pecking order established by Certamen, it may make sense for most of them to pursue magic avidly. The same goes for Criamon, though for different reasons, and perhaps the crusading flambeau. But Jerbiton? Ex-miscellanea? Magical Mercere? Guernici? Even among Tytali, how many would focus on magic as the terrain for conflict - in fact how many would choose a life of conflict after 15 years of hell? Bonisagi may be avid researchers, but raw power has relatively little to do with it - you can make breakthroughs or integrate foreign magic even with relatively low raw power, and in any case I envision many a Bonisagus trying e.g. to compile all available knowledge on vis-producing plants. And so on.
So, how much of their time do characters - PCs and NPCs - spend ammassing magical power in your games?
EDIT: It looks like I did not make myself clear. The issue at hand is one about demographics, not about individuals. Sure, wizards spending the majority of the life ammassing magical power exist (driven individuals exist in all ways of life), and they may well comprise the majority/totality of PC magi, who are "special" by definition. But how common should they be in the rest of the Order? Should they be the norm or the exception? Are they the norm or the exception in your games?