Interesting thanks and by the way sorry for the late reply. I think I might also enjoy the more technical racers if I had any measure of competence in modifying the cars ingame, which unfortunately I don't :P
No problem! Regarding car tuning, you don't always need to mess with it, but as you become more proficient in sim racing you'll definitely want to setup the vehicles to better suit your driving style or a certain track. The good thing is that you'll only be required to learn how to properly setup a car once, then apply that knowledge in most sims. But of course, there's a lot to read about this subject. ;)
I deciding factor for me back then was also whether or not a racer has a cockpit mode, and unfortunately NFS seems to have taken that out early.
Cockpit camera is a must for me (and the ability to set the FOV is a plus, even if it's done by editing some files); in racing sims i expect to see the cockpit with working gauges or digital display with all relevant sensors information; in arcade games a bumper camera is enough i guess.
The only bad part was that it was almost impossible to escape the cops, but hopefully they balanced that a bit in a patch.
This one they got it right, i think. :P
Oh yes, and talking about arcady racers, this remains hands down the best one :)
I remember this one from the arcades; oh boy, how can anyone forget the interconnected arcade cabinets that allowed a whole party to race together at the same time! :)