Hi BB #1,
Today I listened to a talk
by Ajahn Jayasaro that I felt you might appreciate, as it goes to the heart of the problems you brought up in your post. So I'm posting the link here, in case you'd like to hear it too.http://feeds.amaravati.org/dhammatalks7/Amaravati%202012%20-%2060%20%20-%20Skilful%20Desires%20-%20(English%20and%20Thai).mp3
His talk is about "Right Effort" and "Chanda" (wholesome desire). One of the things he discusses is the way in which Westerners are prone to seeing meditation in terms of an expected result, so that when the expected result doesn't occur, we lose heart.
I have to warn you that there are a few minutes of introductory formalities at the beginning, before he really gets into it. But the talk is worth a listen, I think.