I played hardcore last time and finished 22nd - I didn't make the top 100 last time, just shows how much easier hardcore is! I'm going back to normal mode for the next one, for much the same reasons as you state above.
1) 130 seconds is fine if they are short sharp questions, but often there are either essays to read, or a mathematical question, that takes me a while to calculate out - so I either go out of time, guess or only read half the question and tear my hair out when I get it wrong, because I knew the answer, if only I had stopped to read the thing. This really the only reason I'm moving back.
2. Not quite so worried about only getting ten right, as I do it for enjoyment and a score doesn't bother me much, mind you I won the local comp the first time, beaten to second this time.
3. Yea I know, I often surfed in, took one look, and surfed out again.