The material issues on my bike are completely sorted out. I have achieved a Nirvana like state where everything works as well as I could want it to. Everything is pretty much at that spot on the cost/benefit curve where things have to get a lot more expensive before I would notice any measurable difference. Also, I've gotten quite a few things this year - the frame was updated, as was the seat, due to a crash. The stem was updated for proper fit.
Watching tennis last night, I came to the conclusion that while Dinara Safina is categorically better at tennis than I could ever pray to be at bike riding, we suffer from the same issues. Her skills and fitness should put her in a position of dominating women's tennis, yet it's painfully obvious that she doesn't have a rooted belief that she deserves to and is capable of doing so. There are plenty of people in MABRA and the rest of the world who could take my fitness and be competing in higher category racing, yet I've had a horrifying year in Cat 4. I'm not saying that I'm in ridiculous shape or in any position to dominate, it's that my fitness is plenty good enough to perform as the tool it needs to in order to achieve success in races. I don't race enough (I think 4 real races so far this year?) to have developed the instincts and comfort level that I need, nor do I know who a lot of people are and don't know who to take seriously or blow off. My aggressiveness suffers from fear and the fact that I don't share the staggering (and blissfully ignorant - and to my mind stupid) risk tolerance that many others have.
In order to upgrade my enjoyment, my success and my category, I'm going to have to make an upgrade to my mental skills. There are guys who race very well with more complex constraints than I have in my life. Whatever allows them to do that is what I need to learn.
Seriously, I'm sitting here thinking that this was a pretty lame-o upgrade jones piece, and the fact is that my bike so perfectly fits my utilitarian aesthetic that I don't even have some bone of secret lust to toss out. I guess a set of neat wheels like Easton EC90s would be cool. Those are pretty neat. But I'd be happier winning and it's nothing I can buy that's going to get me there.