I say if Dan is content with the outcome, then he had the right idea in his head - keep the game in the house and only the house, and be thankful for what you got to do. IMHO I really think he wasn't necessarily playing to win but to enjoy trying the game in a different way than he did the first season. And, save he didn't win this time, he did get to enjoy being in the house the full season twice.
I honestly think he knew even well before the finals that if he was in the final two with just about anyone, he'd lose to them because he was a winner. I think Boogie would be the only exception as that'd been TWO winners in the final two, and I think people would respect Dan's game a bit more.
(BTW - a little bit different on Willie - when they reopened the final credits with all their pictures and being in the house/with names - did they show him in the house too or a scene where he was walked out of the house? I found it interesting they DID keep his photo on the box and it was lit up in spite of being ejected from the game).