actually now, I think it could have another explanation to this phenomenon than the optical illusion.
I played TE2009 on my Asus EEE notebook. It has a "performance" system that allows to balance between performance & energy saving.
On "save" mode, although TE Engine thinks the game runs at 60fps & normal speed, this is obvious the game runs slower..! At 1st, I thought I was a victim of optical illusion, coz I was playing on a small screen instead of my usual big one, but I manually changed to the "performance" mode of my EEE, and then the game speed was back to normal (which felt like too fast at 1st
There's also a "Super performance" ; in this one, it feels the game runs faster than normal. I didn't test enough to be sure of this, but it felt like this the couple of minutes I tried.
Anyway, if the "save" mode can make the TE Engine thinks it runs normally while it's actually slower, then the "super performance" could also makes the TE Engine believes everything is normal when it's actually going faster.
So if you have a laptop, u should check about a parameter like this, which could "lie" to TE Engine to force the game to run faster.