As long as the CAD and workstation market continue to be the major sponsors of the opengl project, things won't change much. The only way to get some real "gaming" implementations on the API is for either some big shots in the gaming world to start funding the project (and therefore have a say on how it looks and works), or for the API to split (opengl for CAD and stuff and something like openglXtream for the sole purpose of gaming and home media), or a whole new project be started to cather specifically to the gaming market.
As for the whole sound issue, it just needs to get fixed. Things like Pulseaudio and stuff are really only a band-aid of sorts. The fundation is what really needs fixing.