I can understand the frustrations of the non-coders. The community is not always the most easy place to navigate, and sometimes the residents are not the most welcoming.
One suggestion for feature-proposers might be that they first run their request by the subsystem maintainer. There they might at least find out if what they need is feasible, and if there's a chance somebody might be able to work on it for/with them.
Another thought is that perhaps the kernel dev process needs an ombudsman of sorts, who can man a virtual information desk, helping folks find their way to getting the features the user needs implemented, much as Greg KH has done with the Linux Driver Project. Not necessarily the guy to do the work, but a navigator to help them to the right people / list.
And no, I'm not volunteering - I would fall into Ted's category 4.