Good post I see where your coming from and agree with much of it, especially about sterile-empty track environments and half baked damage model.
Like you say though it is a matter of perspective.
Taste in cars will dictate a lot if someone will like a Sim, LFS has a good selection of sedans so I like it, I've never given nkpro a go simply because I am not interested in driving open wheelers and iRacing I did put off for a long time because the content was too much centered around ovals of which I have little interest.
I have driven less than half a dozen laps on one oval and that's it, there are plenty of drivers even in Pro level road that haven't done much in ovals so it is feasable to use iRacing for road content only.
iRacing doesn't pretend to be a driving simulator and as such it's content is all racing related, the cars are based on real cars just real race cars. It has a good amount of V8 sedans which is what all Aussies want
so it appeals to Aussies a lot. It's something many in LFS have lemented there being a lack of over the years. The LX8 would have been great and/or a car similar to the XRR but V8 would have been very welcome to us Aussies, I get the impression that in Europe people aren't so keen on these style cars, but here and in the USA V8 cars are a big part of our culture so very desirable to have in our Sims. Some will not like it because of this others will love it. As to tracks I have confidence that we will continue to get new content and international content in iRacing including Aussie tracks which will certainly keep me interested going forward.
There is ways to race in iRacing to overcome most of your concerns/experiences, week13 for example has races were you don't have to worry about your ratings, there are hosted sessions and of course open practise sessions where if you get to know people you can have casual races or make up games like I do with a few guys where we take turn being in the lead defending with the follower trying to overtake or just do laps together. But you are right it want be for everyone.
As to the cost again a lot seem to get hung up on it, the reality is it isn't cheap and so many will not buy into it, that's life. For many though their perspective will be different, I recall buying games at $100 a pop to play for three weeks then never touch again and in a year probably buy four or five. These days I don't buy or play any other games so even if iRacing cost me $300 a year it is less than what I used to spend and as a bonus I get much more usage out of it, again you see it's perspective and again some will be ok with the cost while other will not...