5sts/in for a sweater isn't too bad. One of my most drool-generating sweater patterns is in a back issue of interweave and has a 7sts/in gauge :shock: Being a fluffy knitter, I'd be knitting for years and years.
I never caught the sock bug, so maybe I am biased.... but doesn't knitty have enough sock patterns??? Everytime there's a surprise sock, I'm like "siiiiiigh". Those are cute, but just doesn't make my tail wag I guess.