1script - 5:28 pm on Sep 17, 2012 (gmt 0)
Waiting it out is not a good strategy anyway because the expiration of the penalty seems to be also triggered by changes on the site. In other words, a site that has just been left untouched may have the penalty expire much longer than 1 year (I've had it for 20 months once) where a site that is constantly updating and changing may come out in 6 months or less.
manual actions are in place for a year or more so you generally wouldn't want to 'wait it out'
I've had instances of both, and in any case, there is no guarantee that it will expire in one year. I don't know about two years or another such long period because it generally does not matter at this point - a site devoid of Google traffic for two years will be essentially crippled for life because of its missing out on all the exposure, new links, new accounts, bookmarks etc. Unless there's no competition in this niche (are there still any like that?), the competitors will be so much ahead that it might just as well be easier to start a new site.