In my early days as an engineer I managed to connect 12V to the reset line of a $100 microcontroller. It did not survive.
I've also destroyed a $1000 magnetic near-field probe, being incautious inside a power supply. This stuff happens to all of us.
As far as simulators are concerned, Simetrix has an extensive library to begin with, and adding more parts is usually as simple as drag and drop with a new SPICE model file. Its one of the things that makes it so easy to use.
The only problem is that some silicon vendors are not providing generic spice models any more ( I'm looking at YOU, TI!).
If you want some further reading on analog electronics, I can thoroughly recommend "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill.