I'm fairly skeptical that getting a harrier from a 300 mile combat radius to 450+ is as simple as redesigning wings and throwing a new engine in there, you're still stuck with the same design of all your your thrust coming from four little rotating nozzles, and retrofitting the distributed aperture system, EOTS, and AESA radar would add weight. The ability go fast and go stealthy is always better than not having that ability, dismissing that as useless because the harrier was limited in capability doesn't make sense to me. If an amphibious ship carrying F-35s instead of Harriers suddenly has the ability to fly CAP against modern air threats or carry out strike missions in contested airspace that is a win. I still don't see how the harrier remains better even if it did match the F-35s range and you retrofitted all the electronics. You'd have two VSTOL aircraft, one of which is much faster, can carry more ordinance, can also function as an air superiority fighter, and has the ability to fly strike missions into airspace the Harrier could not. That sounds like the better one to me.