Even waiting 1 minute at a cash register is a pain in the ass, but it would bring it a bit closer to real-world use. With the prevalance of smartphones, and near-field RF, it seems like BTC is so ready to make an emergence into retail / normal use with the strict exception of it's time delay to verify.
I agree with you, but it's probably not technically feasible. You also have to take variance into account. Even if you would lower the average block creation rate to something crazy like every 10 seconds, you would still need to wait 30 seconds to have a 95% chance of seeing the next block (because 10 seconds is just the average wait time). And even then, 5% of your costumers in line would need to wait even longer than 30 seconds. Not really competitive with a VISA payment that goes through after a few seconds.
What you might be able to do is to build some heuristics that try to figure out whether an unconfirmed transaction will eventually confirm. If you are well-connected to the Bitcoin network that might be feasible with an acceptable risk. For more discussion on the whole "fast transaction acceptance" thing, see also this thread: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3441.0