While I do understand their approach, to try and succeed efficiently without having to spend the biggest bucks, I have to admit that I hope they're not 'cutting corners' where it really matters.
I have a somewhat obvious opinion, but money should be spent where the return is worth it.
So I agree that spending excessive amounts on certain avenues just to gain that extra thousands of laptime is not sustainable.
But to spend a lot of money on something that can potentially offer more decent gains in laptime is certainly jusified if a team has the means. And that is why not investing in a full test dyno is a bit concerning. I would assume the gains from this can be quite large? If not immediate, then over a long time being able to understand and implement but also adapt concepts.
Also, if the budget caps are implemented in the future, it does make sense that a team which has already been geared towards this may benefit more immediately compared to the big teams that have to remove and reallocate resources accordingly. Which could disrupt operations and efficiency.