I love you. So, so much! You've made my life better. You've made my days easier. You've really turned into quite the friend, haven't you? All the time you've saved me has given me so much more time for other activities. Before I met you I spent days pulling out my (metaphoric) hair trying to do even basic document manipulation, and now I've got all this extra time for hobbies like baking, tandem bicycle riding, and napping. I love you, jQuery!
Are you the fastest engine on the track? The most streamlined? The newest cool kid on the block? No. Are you a little overweight? Aren't we all? But that doesn't mean you aren't spectacular. And we all know that a BMW isn't a Porsche but we'd still choose the BMW every time, amirite?
The best tools are the ones that aim for the intersection between performance improvement growth and expenditure reduction. In other words: What lets me achieve the most success possible in the smallest amount of time or money (or in the world of products and consulting, time-money). jQuery is the ultimate front-end dev tool in that regard. It adds a bit of overhead and takes a bit longer to load on a page (but still only milliseconds longer), but the development performance improvement gain is so substantial that it blows the excess cost out of the water.
So, dear jQuery, keep doing what you do. You make development easier and life happier.