Take Riley's perfect life: as many have suggested, the appearance of perfection could partly be from the Scoobies' perspective. They see Riley's life as perfect because their lives are doing so poorly. But Riley's speech also has a hint as to why Riley, who was such a mess when he left in season five, could be doing well now: "Wheel never stops turning, Buffy. You're up, you're down...it doesn't change who you are."
Imagine how much more resonance the episode would have if Riley had explicitly applied it to himself. If, instead of nobly telling Buffy she didn't need to apologize, he instead pointed out that he was a doing badly when she last saw him, and look how well he was doing now. Pointed out that the same could happen to her. Just one small change would make the whole episode so much better.