Still, I think that learning to do something really well is important for anybody, and it's not too important what it is. If you have mastered one thing, it is a bit easier to master others. And doing something you're really good at is uplifting, relaxing and fun.
So if you want to strive for perfection in some field, cubing is certainly cheaper than golf!
You will not learn how to do something fast until you learned how to do it slow!
The same goes for the physical dexterity tricks (see this page). You need to practice seeing columns, finding trigger opportunities and other hand friendly techniques slowly before you can do it quickly.
Strangely, for me, progress was a lot of quantum leaps. I would consistently solve the cube in about the same time, for example 80-90 seconds. Then suddenly one day I would achieve 67 seconds! And from then on I would perform in that for some weeks, until I suddenly did 52 seconds. In this manner I progressed from 3 minutes down to about 25 seconds in a series of leaps.
Those leaps were quite unexpected, and I didn't feel any better, the times just suddenly got better. I checked that my clock wasn't broken several times!
Another weird thing is that I do not think at all when cubing. I can talk freely about anything while doing world class speed. It seems like I just need to hook up my eyes and hands to some independent processor part of my brain, and it will just solve it before my eyes. It's a bit strange, but a pretty nice feeling!