Yeah there is always a difference between ideal and real. OpenOffice is a nice bridge between the 2.
I wouldn't be surprised if OpenOffice ends up getting significant marketshare, though. Afterall, Firefox has done it. It was a very similar situation - a chicken and egg problem. People didn't care to write standard-compliant HTML because IE had a 99% marketshare, and people didn't use alternative browsers because they don't render pages "correctly". Firefox overcame that somehow, and now virtually the whole WWW is browse-able by all major browsers. And it all happened in 2 or 3 years.
OO doesn't even need to overtake MS Office (even though it certainly has the potential to, given the hefty price tag of MS Office, and the fact that most people really only need the basics). It only needs to gain 5% marketshare or so, which is the hard part. Then people will start producing accessible documents, and more people will switch to OO, and the chain reaction goes on. That's essentially what happened with Firefox. It "standardized" the web from Microsoft's grasp, practically. There's no reason OpenOffice can't "standardize" document formats.
It would be hard to convince people to run Linux. But a free office suite? it only takes half an hour or so to become sufficiently proficient, especially if the user only needs the basic functionalities.