Ah! Yeah, I do this too. What I was responding to had me in an RF PCB mindset, and that’s a bit different case. Even so, I often do something similar with RF. I’m sitting here digging through a ziploc full of SMA jumpers to string together some connectorized modules to make a measurement. I’ll often sim stuff first where I have the tools to get past the egregious logic errors and oversights, but have a lot of elephant’s nest concept proofs as well.
I have a friend who’s best described as an “antenna whisperer.” He’ll do the occasional sim, but mostly he will bodge something together, or do a quick PCB and trim and tweak that. He claims (and I’ve witnessed) he can usually do that and have results before the first sim is complete. He’s not a hacker - he just has such a good intuitive understanding of what’s going on that he doesn’t get much added value from the sims.