Yes, my question is more from a physiological than psychological standpoint, because motivation is going to vary from individual to individual. I personally hate taking time off. :/ I gain fat, and my performance suffers. And that decreases my motivation. But tapering provides me with a similar magnitude of motivation and refreshment when I go back to training. I always look fuller after a taper (and often leaner), and my performance is greater, which further increases my motivation.
Here is an abstract I wrote up a little while ago on the effects of one week off, vs. two different types of tapers, http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/one-week-off.pdf
The main finding of this study was that a 7 day high-intensity, low volume taper improved running time to fatigue, muscle glycogen concentrations, total blood volume, and citrate synthase activity. In contrast, a low intensity high volume taper effected non of these variables; and rest only resulted in a decrease in several of these parameters.
Also, several of the studies from that review were 1-2 weeks in duration.
I do think taking a week off instead of tapering will dissipate fatigue faster; which is why you may feel better after a complete week off. But you could just taper for 10-14 days, instead. It will take a little bit longer to dissipate the fatigue, but the fitness gains will be maintained with this method.
I would definitely be interested to see any studies that contradict this.