I submitted a paper to a good journal, it was refereed, and after a year it got accepted for publication.
But now that a year has passed, I no longer find the results or methods of that paper to be that great (novel?). And much of my more recent work, which has been submitted to other good journals but has not yet been published, is of greater quality and improves on the earlier methods.
Should I withdraw the paper, or just go ahead and publish it? To me it seems that there are negative consequences either way:
If the paper is published, then the readers may perceive the author to be shallow or inferior in some ways. Also, if the more recent work is published then people may think I'm over-using a particular method, or "salami slicing". Of course, the latter would not be accurate, as the most recent work was begun several months after the first paper was submitted.
If the paper is withdrawn, then the referee and editor (whom are very respected) may hold a grudge, or simply have a lesser opinion. That could impact future submissions and my reputation.
Although, if I formed a habit of submitting and withdrawing because of better and better results... my work would eventually be so wonderful that nobody would know about it!