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The problem is understanding if the inability of a given company to recognize the value of an employer is a good enough reason to move away...

Agreed. It may well be. I took the counter offer from the original company for various reasons. But it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure if I would have made the same decision had I had it to do over.

When a company does not value your contribution until there is a competing offer you feel a bit taken for granted and unappreciated. Any academic work in the HR/recruiting field will tell you that money is not the sole motivator or even the main motivator. Under-appreciation is a great way to lose employees.

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