This is a simple example of the two main types of editing I do. With the coyote photos (before and after - low quality unfortunately), my goal was to clean up some of the stems in front of the face or other key areas, and try to sharpen a low quality image the best I could. I see this as very conventional editing.
With the dragonfly photos (before and after), the before image was 95% OK except for the bright spots that I removed. Judging how many and to what extent I should suppress "spots" like these is important to me, but not something I see discussed anywhere. It would be interesting to read some opinions on that.
I first thought you were asking a philosophical question about image manipulation, but it's much more interesting and practical. The second version of the dragonfly image to my eye looks just a bit too "plastic" or lifeless where you've wiped out all the specular highlights on the wings. Knocking down the distracting hotspots in the background on the other hand definitely helps the image.
It's your photograph, so anything you like is fine. I try to avoid letting the "hand of Photoshop" become too visible in my prints, but I've also seen really beautiful photos with obvious manipulation by other folks.