As you have already stated, volunteer support for free software can often be problematic, but given the people and resources we have, I think it's safe to say #msgplus has served a decent number of people. According to my statistics, in the past 3 years, out of circa 10000 users, more than 6000 have received help, out of which more than 3500 from me.
I've tried to make various improvements to the support system, some of which were successful. I set up a help database on Effexor (my IRC bot) with one-line solutions to common issues and frequent answers, links to relevant forum stickies and tutorials. This system alone has offered support to more than 70% of requests. Relevant thread: Attention all helpers: help build a knowledge base!
. During busy times (new WLM or Plus! releases, etc.), the bot notices each and every users who joins with a relevant message.
It's quite ironic that this is coming from you, given you have rarely took the time to actually help users in #msgplus, and it expresses a great deal of disrespect towards the few individuals who dedicated their free time and effort to offering support.
I do agree that we don't have enough manpower for all users, or to cover all timezones, but we do our best. If you want to help, feel free to advertise this and try to convince more forum regulars to offer a bit of their free time to #msgplus.