However, I think I'm getting closer. Today, I worked on a tree-like view and path selection therein. This prototype doesn't yet have flashy graphics on the tree, any sort of magnification for dealing with longer paths, or the ability to do any editing of paths. However, it does give a clear impression of the relation of paths (especially their relative times).
With some markers for important events (gems, finishing), and a fair amount more graphical polish (using lines is... well, not optimal, for sure) I think this has the potential to be the new path select.