Joe Meek famously said "if it sounds good it IS good" and I can't see why anyone would be so foolish as to try to argue with that - except....
Anyway. I recently mastered a track, sent it off and the client was happy. He had told me that he really liked the mix he had, so I deliberately kept very close to that. My problem was that I really didn't much like the end result so when I had a little spare time (yeah, right) I started from scratch and re-did the job for my own satisfaction, allowing far more freedom than I did on the client version. I have ended-up with a version that I personally prefer, but because I'm now working without client input I don't have a frame of reference for the track and I felt at one point that it might be a little bright. I added a linear-phase eq and shelved off a dB or so from the top, and about a 1/2 dB from the bottom end, and suddenly the track felt right to me - I could barely hear the difference but doing a quick and dirty blind (well, probably partially blind if we're honest) test I preferred the vesion with the EQ.
And the problem? In processing the track to this point I have already added two different EQs, a multiband parametric for some very small bumps and dips, and a Pultec emulation plugin for some broad pallete colouring; and I can't get away from the idea that I should be able to adjust what is already there and get the same effect. After-all, why add additional complexity to the machine?
Luckily I back-up projects very regularly, because I have now butchered this one a good half dozen times. Every time I revert to the saved version (with the LPEQ on it) I sigh and nod, then I fix it until it's broken again. The answer is simple, leave it alone and print it as is, and stop trying to "do it right" to some arbitary standard because in this case that's wrong.