I think I could give you a run for your money there; well over two years this time round, not counting previous failed attempts. One day (soon, hopefully) I'll get there...
Hi Rick, I have memorized the code table (with dot and dash on it) when I was in high school , and I'm 36 now, you do the math!
I read you posts in this thread a few month agohttp://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,82014.90.html
Here's some advise from my not so good experience:
1. At first use a pen or pencil to copy, don't use a computer keyboard until you can copy with pen. maybe this is the second biggest mistake I've ever made in learning Morse Code(First biggest mistake was memorize the code table). Copy with pen will help you connect the code pattern with the letter it self not the key on the keyboard, and it help copy in head too!
2.Practice at lease 30 minutes a day, overlearn is the only way to learn Morse Code! Copy Copy Copy! Wide separated three 10 minutes sessions are better than a 30 minutes session.
3. Don't waste too much time trying to evaluate and get a score! Just copy as much as you can , you will know if your copy is good enough. You can evaluate a two minute session each day if you want to.
4. Try to copy with some noise, I found that I can copy better from my radio than from my computer generated pure code, and better result in Morse runner than Just Learn Morse(without noise).
5. If you have learned all the characters and numbers and ", . / ?", you may want to copy words, random characters is not so useful for a Ham operator, you can start with 100 most used English words, most software have those.
6.But I believe there is a problem with just copying words, there are some characters that are not used so much, such as "J Z X", so I use Morse Runner, it's a CQ WPX contest emulator , you copy real life call signs(call sign database can be updated) and serial numbers, that I think solve the rare used character problem, and it is so much fun! I use "Single call" mode, you can use "Pile up" or "WPX" mode to practice pile up handling and contest technics
Most of all, hang in there, practice and have fun!