When I was a kid, many of my friends were fantasizing about the unrealistic goal of becoming professional football, basketball or baseball stars. During that same period, my equivelent and even more unrealistic fantasy was to be the one to discover the Unified Field Theory (that's what we called the "Theory of Everything" back then). That, and breaking Derek Clayton's marathon record (2:08:33). I didn't ask for much. Did I?
@Max: "I can't imagine how this feels -- waiting so long for proof to come in -- the same with Peter Higgs and the Higgs Boson"
Andrei Linde and Alan Guth proposed the inflationary theory of the Big-Bang circa 1980-1981. They have waited for this more than 30 years!! It smells to Nobel Prize now, but they'll have to wait until 2015 as a minimum -- AFAIK, Nobel candidates deadline for 2014 is already closed ;-)