Fingering weight socks DO take a fairly long time. When you count how many stitches cover a square inch of knitting in fingering weight, verses worsted weight, you'll see that it's 2 1/2 to 3 times as many stitches to make up the same amount of knitting. So, I'd say you've got about 4 or 5 snug hats to knit for the equivalent of a standard pair of fingering weight socks.
I personally have a preference to knit socks in heavier yarn than the typical fingering weight. I like to do them in worsted weight yarn, which makes them fast projects, much the same as a hat or two, and I like socks to be fast. I also like the thicker and warmer socks that the worsted weight yarn creates. Unfortunately there's few if any patterned sock yarns in worsted weight, and also few worsted weight yarns that are reinforced with nylon for the durability that the heel and toe and sole need.
My personal solution is to knit the sock in any soft worsted weight wool I like, but do the soles in a more durable yarn. My favorite sock pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Mocassin socks, because you can actually knit the entire sole in the durable yarn, while keeping the ankle and the top of the foot knit in your pretty, soft yarn. And if the sole eventually wears out, you can re-knit JUST the sole, exclusive of the top of the sock. That pattern can be found in her book The Knitter's Almanac. I have a thread about the pattern here.
I actually contacted Meg Swansen (Elizabeth Zimmerman's daughter) last month, asking if she'd let me republish the Mocassin Sock pattern on this site, and do a video about it. I haven't heard back, but I've not given the idea up! I would LOVE to introduce more people to that great pattern. It's so cool.