I think efficiency as a concept is essentially a tool. Like money. Or a bicycle. Or a hammer.
And its a very valuable tool. But, maybe a little paradoxically, its best applied to the things that one would ordinarily care least about -- like shopping (for me), making enough money to live on, selecting an efficient place to live, not paying for or owning things you don't use. Since we have a limited amount of time on this earth, we want to use efficiency to reserve more of that time for activities and relationships we enjoy, which we won't necessarily pursue in the "most efficient" manner.
But there are some areas where we do not want efficiency, because of the risks associated with it. The easiest example to look at in the context of this forum is the idea of a safe withdrawal rate. Safety means you are giving up efficiency. You will die with money you can't use. That's inefficient. But its preferable to taking a risk that you will run out of money. (An interesting read on this subject is "Spend "Til The End", which advocates a higher withdrawal rate.) Life insurance for your kids is another example. Building codes are usually not efficient, because they are focused on safety, not cost. As N. Taleb observes, efficient systems are often brittle and can be subject to catastrophic failure. "Too Big To Fail" institutions are often very efficient, but not very safe.
Efficiency is the wrong tool for many important things. We don't really want efficient government, unless we want to live in a dictatorship. Thus, democratic and republican forms of government are inefficient by design. We don't really want "efficient" relationships -- we'd rather have more friends than fewer, although in this camp we value friends that like efficiency and do not waste our time. Love is not very efficient. Neither are good manners. The process of raising children is horribly inefficient. Art and music are inefficient. Many good things to eat are inefficiently made. Many of the things we do to stay healthy are inefficient, but we'd rather be safe than sorry in that area, too.
But what about efficiency for its own sake? It is true that efficient systems can be aesthetically pleasing and often comforting. Many people "feel good" about having done something more efficiently than not, even though they might waste the gain they have achieved on some other inefficient practice. Like buying the most efficient heating system you can find for a large space that you don't really use. A lot of hi-tech gadgetry is sold on this "desire to be efficient."
I think there is a problem when efficiency becomes the goal, and not the tool. Shall we say "The love of efficiency is the root of all evil"? I would not say that, but I do see blind "efficiency-worship" as something that needs to be recognized and controlled. Almost all practicing economists suffer from this disease. Whenever you hear a justification for something that is essentially "we are doing this because its economically efficient", you are seeing/hearing "efficiency worship" in action, because it is effectively equating "efficiency" with "good" without any critical analysis of the alternatives or the potential outcomes from safety or other perspectives. Popular economic and political thought is plagued with this disease, and it has been my experience that most people engaged in efficiency-worship are not even conscious of what they are doing and why they think what they think.
Like many here, I was more enamored with efficiency when I was younger. If life has taught me anything, its not to value one concept or tool exclusively, but to put it in its proper place in the tool box and use it when appropriate. But measure twice before using any tools.
"Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now."