I think you're mixing apples and oranges, Serge. I've been to the Canon in two places, my former BC parish and here at St. Vladimir's. In both places it was done 100% in English (as I think any service not done regularly should be). I understood all of the words, but I can see how you might be confused about the meanings of these words, depending on the translation. Basically, all it is is a recounting of every person in the OT that did good contrasted with a recounting of every person that did bad. Lots of weird names but if you listen to what they did and then hear the words "oh my soul they repented but you do not" which are repeated several times during the canon it really sinks in.
As far as Vigil, I would agree that it's not the best thing to do every Saturday night in a parish setting but the more I attend it the more I love it. The Matins part is the happy part, after all! "Blessed art thou, O Lord, teach me thy statues!" is my favorite hymn of Matins, along with the Doxology of course. If Matins were assured to be celebrated a la Greek/Antiochian practice in the morning on Sunday before liturgy I'd be cool with that, as long as it gets done because it is just so beautiful. But tiring. Especially if it is done in Slavonic. I don't know how anyone could sit through 2 hours of a foreign tongue even if he understands most of it. For instance, I can speak Spanish but have a hard time going to Spanish Mass because it is still a foreign tongue.
Also the way the choir executes the service can be a factor. I can imagine that a Vigil done poorly might go over 2 hours which would be a bit much, I think. At St. Vlad's it usually lasts 1:45 to 2:15 hours--not bad. Again, in a parish setting I would understand if only Vespers were done.
As far as cutting down/out the Blazen muz and putting in psalms? That is totally contrary to the Cathedral rite. Psalmody in parishes is a *13-14th* century monastic accretion into parish life--after the Latins left Constantinople this happened. Before that, only psalm 85 was done at Vespers and it was done antiphonally--2 choirs alternated the verses with the congregation chanting "Save us, O son of God!" (much like we do the Blazen muz now, with the choirs alternating verses and everyone belting out "Alleluia!" three times). Monasteries were the only places that recited the psalms in kathisma.
To mix Canon and Vigil together into a "services are too long" post however doesn't do justice I think because the Canon of St. Andrew is supposed to be long, tiring, monotonous, etc. like the other poster said, while Vigil is bright, glorious, and celebratory.