Why isn't there room in any sim gamers' collection for both LFS and more mass-market games such as rFactor and the Simbin games (GTR series, RACE series)?
Both have pros and cons. Admittedly, I'm very new to LFS, and I love it because the physics and tire models simply BLOW AWAY anything in rFactor outside of the Historic GT & Touring mod with properly tuned RealFeel, and they're also better than GTR 2.
But the lack of additional mods, cars and tracks hurts LFS when compared to rFactor and GTR 2, no question.
Still, all of that variety comes with a trade-off in quality.
The quality of tracks and mods in rFactor and GTR 2 varies wildly. A few are terrific; many are awful. Some are developed by people with intimate knowledge of race car engineering and physics; some are developed by so-called "experts" who know little but how to pump random physics values into Notepad. The effectiveness of force feedback plugins such as RealFeel and Leo's FFB, which are almost mandatory since the default ISI FFB is pure crap, also varies wildly by mod.
Everything in LFS just oozes quality and consistency due to one development team that is painstaking in detail. Physics and tire models are unique yet consistent. Same with force feedback. Same with graphics quality.
If your heart is set on racing real historic or current race cars and real tracks, then rFactor and GTR 2 are your best options. But that option comes with the price of scatter-shot physics, and sub-par tire models and force feedback, depending on the mod.
If you can tolerate the limited numbers of cars and tracks for LFS, you're rewarded by superior physics and tire models. That's what matters the most to me, and that's why I'm having so much fun with LFS.
Again, I'm new to LFS, so the "new car smell" is still quite strong. But for me, realistic physics and tire models never get old, never go out of style.