The throttle body spacer was originally designed to allow the air and fuel to get a more optimum mixture to provide better detonation, and power increase. The only reason these things work on a carb setup is because the spacer goes between the carb and the intake manifold. Since the fuel is mixed in prior to the spacer the helix effect could in turn give a bit more of a "mixing" effect to the fuel/air. However this should be negligible, as the air going into the manifold, then turning from the intake runners into the head and around the valves should already create a nice air/fuel mixture. This is not to be confused with a velocity stack, which has an arc and larger inlet than the carb, this gives a nice long curve which helps to accelerate air into the carb. The same thing works with a super charger, when I worked for my uncle we could see a 1-2 lbs boost increase with a velocity ring taking the veloute inlet from 4" to closer to 5.5-6".
With modern manifolds it is an entire different ball game. The things like the "tornado" only do one thing, and that is restrict flow through the intake tube. Getting into the new throttle body spacers all they do is provide a nice shiny piece of aluminum that are just that, bling that has no effect on engine power. The only thing they might do is increase plenum volume, which for most vehicles means absolutely nothing. Since the fuel is put into the mixture before the head, all mixing is done within that area. Mixing is not required as with a 4 stroke engine the actual air/fuel mixture will sit in the cylinder for an entire cycle before detonation at the end of the compression stroke.
ET time has very little to do with how something adds additional power, strange thing is you add more power to get a quicker time. The real goal is for efficiency, getting rid of baffling, an smoothing the intake path can help accelerate the velocity of the air entering the intake plenum, however it is only going to go as fast as it is drawn in. This is how alot of the big name intake manufacturers sell product, with a label that says 15hp increase it sounds all fine and dandy, until you look at a dyno graph. Alot of aftermarket intakes have a slight drop off on low end torque and power but have huge gains on the top end. Ideally you would want peak increase to be linear rather than just in a certain section, and a drop off on the low end. Most driving is down between 1500-3500 rpm. However the intake does make the engine sound alot more aggressive and cleans up the under hood look for a more custom appearance, all while giving slightly better efficiency.
In short throttle body spacer=expensive paper weight.