I love the feeling when my next mod helps me to drop times, I do one thing at a time and every mod thus far has made my car better on the track. What s the point of struggling with say grip when all power the car has to offer goes to waste when coming out of the corners with some shitty tires. Or why not to utilize all grip and life a particular tire has to offer by running stock suspension and stock alignment. Oveeheating stock brake pads and stock brake fluid is just plain silly.
As long as the mod makes sense and results in a better composed car for track, i dont see why one should have hard feelings. It is no cheating, i feel like modding your car and "modding" yourself by learning are two different things that go along with each other to produce better times.
I am like you, time motivates me the most. I dont go out there for quantity, if I post great times I feel good about myself and my car.