sell shell accounts?

Here is the senario I was thinking about

Case 1

R1 --- R2 --- R3

Case 2

R1 --- SW --- R3

Assume that the wide area segments are the same in both cases and that SW and
R2 are collocated. In case 1 there are 2 router hops between R1 and R3. In case
2, given a full mesh of PVCs, R1 and R2 are only one hop apart. This does not
imply that the traffic flows any differently relative to the physical paths
taken, but if I do a traceroute I think it will look different. Am I missing
the point here?