As you said, Lastsoul, fast 'Ring times and being fun are definitely not the same thing. The TR7 we used in LeMons was slow, but it was a blast. It had a great combination of feel, handling behavior (perfect handling balance) and weird/quirkiness.
The 'Ring was a different experience, but with what I've done in the past, it was essentially a different combination of mostly-familiar factors. The mix of car types and abilities is familiar to me from HPDEs - a mostly stock (older) Civic and old Miata will share track space with a 911 Turbo S, a Ferrari 360 Challenge, and a Stock car (as in those NASCAR things, but set up for road courses instead of ovals - 500+ hp and 2800 pounds). The "pass anywhere" and "signals optional" is familiar from LeMons and some Instructor run groups (some instructor groups require a passing signal, in some it's optional). What was unusual was the "pass only on the left" - on track the rule is generally "slower car stays on the line, faster car goes off line". Still, as long as everyone knows and follows the standard, it works.
The mix of driver skill was very familiar from both LeMons and Chump.
The track itself was mostly unfamiliar to me. I had picked up a few bits from Forza 2 (I haven't played any driving games in a while, so it's Forza 2 for me) and from the little bit of watching we did. Still, the cues to tell me where the track went were strong. I often had cars to follow - though most of these cars did not give me a good idea of the proper line (sorry, but I don't trust people on tourist days), they did tell me the general direction of the track. And even without them, there were things like the tree line and the worn pavement from other cars that gave me clues. Not knowing a track like that definitely reenforces the "look ahead" aspect of track driving. It was fun, but I think I'd like either an HPDE like environment or a flat out race there.
As to the "meet" part of RingMeet, OMG AWESOME. I had a blast. You guys were really welcoming, especially to the idiot Americans who barely managed to bring sleeping bags. Shad, huge thanks for letting us turn your tend into the ancillary Texas embassy. It held out that scary water-from-the-sky stuff quite well. I look forward to the next time we can make it over, and running a RWD car on the 'Ring.