Haven't read the whole thread, but here's my 2 cents... Don't "correct" with mastering, only sweeten. If you find you're "correcting" then you need to get off the mastering bus and dive back into the mix. That's because (obviously) you can only make overall changes in mastering, and surgery should be done on the next layer down, when possible, and it's always possible if you're mastering your own tune.
Do your A/B testing on a tune that you admire, but do it pre- and post-mastering chain, to ascertain how your mastering chain is affecting your tune. Ideally, you should get the sound you're after pre-mastering plugins, and all they do is a bit of "glue" and spice up the sound somewhat.
Here's an example of why teh above is important. If the mastering is killing the "punch" of your drums, probably what is happening is this: Any punch from your drums is probably attributable to their amplitude, pre mastering. Now, that's what mastering removes (dynamics), right? So you have to find another way to get that punch - which is either sound selection or synthesis: Remember, loudness =/= amplitude... loudness is perceptual, and relies on more than physical amps... SO.... tweak your drums till they have oomph which is more to do with their timbre, or frequency area, and that way you don't need to get a punch solely by having them suck up lots of amplitude. In this way, when you master, you don't need to squash them so much (they'll sound punchy even without being so *physically *loud) and they'll retain that nice sound.