Just to be clear - I wasn't after any particular conclusions about how we should feel about payroll imbalance. I just thought it was worth looking at the numbers to see the impact of disparate payrolls.
In the comments to the post, Coachie made a list of franchises that have had some success over the last 10 years and whose fans should be happy, including "Mets(debatable)." I think that he and I (and most fans) consider recent Mets history to be somewhat disappointing reflects how much we already take competitive imbalance into account.
Granted, the last 2 seasons have been very frustrating for Mets fans, but by most objective measures, the Mets have been successful over the last decade: 84 wins per season, 3 playoff appearances, 3 NLCS appearances, 1 World Series appearance.
A big part of the reason Mets fans are frustrated is that we realize that with the payroll the team has, they should be doing even better. My rough formula indicates that a team with the Mets payroll should've won 87 games per season and had 4.6 playoff appearances over the last 10 seasons.
Here's a spreadsheet listing all 30 teams, their actual wins per season & playoff appearances over the last 10 years, and their expected wins & playoff appearances based only on payroll. I think the list jibes pretty well with general opinions about which franchises are run well and which are run poorly.
Here's the top and bottom 5 in Actual Wins minus Expected Wins (per season):