Judging a person and/or his ride based on price and where it was bought from.....with no knowledge of the bike is elitist and shallow.
OR being concerned for someone's safety when they are riding an unsafe bike when they could have bought a decent one for not that much more money is helpful. We're just coming at this from different directions, I think. It's not elitist to be concerned about someone's safety and long term investment. ($150 for a bike that's unsafe right out of the Big Box vs. maybe twice that for a bike that's a little bit nicer but more importantly is properly assembled)
You've made several upgrades to this bike to make it lighter, safer and more enjoyable to ride. Someone that doesn't have the knowledge and spare parts to do so (ie, most people that would buy this bike) but wants to do some serious riding on it should in my opinion be steered away from it. Now, if they just want it to toodle around the park, that's probably another thing entirely.
Working on a big college campus, I see bikes in all sorts of condition and quality. I've closed quick releases on wheels, reattached brakes, even made minor adjustments to bikes I see on racks that are simply not safe to ride...I don't think that makes me elitists but again, we're talking about two different reactions to big box bikes so I do understand your point. Just want to make sure you understand the distinction I'm trying to make.
Best of luck with your economic turnaround-things are gonna get better!
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced.