Completely agree... if he got the first serve fixed he'd be pretty unbeatable but at this stage in his career, I'm inclined to believe he's stuck with it.
I was kind of hoping you might have some spare optimism I could borrow...;-) But I'm afraid I think you're bang on the money there.
If he manages to win a slam without a top level serve, it will be a phenomenal achievement.
If he'd had one, I'm certain he could have gone through his own run of looking unbeatable (like Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic have all done) and really made his mark as one of the all-time greats.
All in all, pretty frustrating. But I still think if he ever manages to get his first, it'll make a huge difference to his confidence, and maybe, just maybe, that would have a knock-on effect for his serve, and trigger a really good couple of years.