ok i'll get thru the spam example quickly because i'm one of two people i've ever known who actually like it...the other's my deceased father-in-law (RIP Sam). 'spam lite' is superior to it's regular counterpart because it's less salty. spam regular is just too salty. done.
pasta may benefit from salted cooking water but my point is the unsalted pasta benefits more from the addition of parmesan later. its a no brainer. cheese just brings more to the table than salt. what's better? added salt to pasta. or added salt, fat, flavorings from cheese later? if you salt the pasta water and have some nice cheese on hand to finish your pasta dish then the end product will most likely be too salty.