Sorry for reviving this old thread, but I completely missed this discussion and just have to add my two cents. It's just too funny!
First of all, it is kind of ironic that protonspring is accusing me of cheating, because I'm a guy who tries to beat every game in the vanilla version. I am also an Icy Tower veteran. (Cute little game, but the community died some years back.) There was a huge scandal there about Slowdown cheats before I even joined the community. And afterwards some players still kept using personalized mods to improve their records. I tried this mod too, but got bored after awhile. After a new version of the game came out, I switched back to vanilla, because the mod no longer worked. I still managed to set a few records and to win a few tournaments.
Second, and more on topic, I have recently taken up playing Neverball again. The old records on the Nevertable were all done with the keyboard, but recently I've switched to the mouse. Watching old replays, I also noticed all these little ticks. Mouse replays are much smoother. If you've only tried the mouse, I can therefore understand if a keyboard replay seems strange.
But there is also a gameplay issue. I believe that the mouse is actually superior to the keyboard in many ways. And that's probably also how the developers play the game. But some things are better done with the keyboard, like moving in a straight line or changing the camera mode or angle. I used the keyboard in other games (Icy Tower), so this was the natural way for me to start. But the mouse gives you way more control over the ball (or is it the table?). So, without the mouse it is probably impossible to finish all levels (especially the Nevermania ones) or to reach all record goals.
I guess that what is really important to be good at this game (as with many things) is practice, practice, practice. I still haven't managed to reproduce all stunts that uau, Elviz, and also protonspring had posted on the Nevertable. So there are obviously still better players than me.
A final word: I do not waste hours upon hours to improve a record by a fraction of a second. If you doubt that, you should look up my Enigma highscores (google "enigma nongnu"). But if I make a record while trying to finish the levels and collect all coins, why not share it with other people? Isn't that an encouragement for them to reproduce the result?