If 40 feet is a waste of time then I have been wasting the last 20 years of hamming. I do not have a tower over 30 feet. The highest I have had any antenna is the feed point for an 80 and 40 meter dipole, at 38 feet.
It is what it is. I never got around to installing a free standing tower. My house to is low to attach a tower over 30 feet. The attach point is 12 feet off the ground. I am pushing it at 30 feet, but have not had any issues over the past 20 years.
Am I a BIG GUN? Hell no, and I knew I never would be. But I make lots of contacts, and the past year most of those have been with low power on JT65. I have worked VK's with 15 watts on 40 with a dipole hung at 30 feet.
Yes my 80 meter dipole is NVIS but that is ok, I am not interested in DX on 80.
My next antenna project will be to install a new Hy Gain TH2-MK3. that beam will sit at roughly 32 feet off the ground, 20 feet above the roof line. No it is not going to be a rock crusher but it will be better than a dipole.
I know a ham who has a G5RV strung along the top of his wooden fence. Again he is no where close to being a big station. But he works DX with CW and JT65. One thing about it, when he works a new country it is exciting
Do what you can do and be happy you can get any antenna up 40 feet. With all the restrictions etc that some hams have to work through 40 feet would sound pretty damn good to them!
As I type this I am working RV6FT on 17 meters JT65 with 15 watts to an aluminum home brewed dipole which is mounted at 24 feet. So you can make contacts with low antennas. Sure Vlad might have a big antenna system and be doing most of the work but the contact was made.
It would be fun to know exactly how many hams have low antennas. I bet a lot of hams who live on small city lots are restricted to the height of towers etc. Maybe we should conduct a poll