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Once help desk is comfortable with the process they can walk a user through a password reset in 10 minutes or less.
The user has to read 18 chars to the helpdesk, the helpdesk has to type them, then read back between 18 and 68 (approx) chars depending on the settings.
so, depending on how good the communication between the two is I guess you could do it in under a minute easily.
Realistically, it is our experience that it takes about 5-10 minutes to accomplish this. This time includes verifying the identity of the remote person, code exchange, and setting a new password. Any examples of 30+ minutes is either a really computer illiterate user or a help desk person who is clueless on how it is supposed to work.
I have some help desk people that can't seem to remember the to have the user click "Cancel" before Options (5x).
I have also had to explain simple computer concepts to end users, like right-click or where the space bar is (seriously). Some of them are baffled by the Shift key, and prefer to turn the Caps Lock on and off.
I really feel for you - sincerely. Your user community must be quite a challenge!