I was always told that it is the journey that is important, and not the end result. I'm however not surprised that when asked "if anyone would like to take a magic pill to once again become a beginner" so few said yes.
I feel that we are always on the journey, but the Aikido journey is one where hopefully we fondly remember the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future.
My general experience has been that each practice has brought greater enjoyment than that which was gained during the last practice. The obvious implication here is that with time and experience, Aikido becomes more fulfilling. Going backwards would only negate the greater enjoyment rewards eared from time already spent!