That's where I have to respectfully disagree - I think it's WordPress that need to adapt.
Authorship is an increasingly important part of search, and search is as important as ever. You can't blame Google for not doing all the work for you - they have their own blogging platform after all, where I imagine such things are easier to arrange.
I've been waiting patiently for a year for WordPress to catch up to this, (as the workaround above doesn't work for multi-user blogs) and I hope they will.
Authorship is an important enough thing to allow those of us with only a basic knowledge of the web to get access to, from within the wonderful framework that is wordpress.com.
Hopefully they'll agree with me eventually!