What an interesting discussion! I'm so glad I am not alone with the dilemma. I would have thought my being uncomfortable with or frustrated by long searches was just about being me a newbie and needing to learn more about good hiding places and how to look unsuspicious while searching, but now I get the impression that that isn't all of it.
I've had a few searches when the searching was a satisfying process and I was glad I had to poke around a good while before finding the cache, but there were a few others that made me uncomfortable or irritated me, even when they were successful (and much more so if they weren't). But having seen this discussion now I feel that it's perfectly legitimate to go caching for other reasons than just the find. It's certainly true I have a lot of learning yet ahead of me, but being led to discover pretty and interesting places and having a few more good walks is good enough in itself.