Well, I've certainly created a discussion point - if nothing else.
As has been pointed out - there appears to be no right answer, as like most artistic activities, photography is very largely a personal affair.
Maybe I've just been used to activities where improvements can be measured in a very cold light.
It is somewhat difficult to say that i've achieved a 34% improvement in the quality of my pictures. It is a statement that can never be qualified!
Measuring by subjectivity is something i may have to learn or accept!
Without a doubt the pictures within my LR catalogue have mostly been rated in a downward manner. I suppose that is the one beauty of something like LR - i don't delete the images. I just reevaluate them, and at worst just remove them from the catalogue.
Most importantly, through your comments, i do at least have an idea of how to resolve my dillema.