well, we have set up our witness (@swisswitness) a few weeks back and have been hitting rougly a little less then one block per day...
since our server costs 180 per month and the revenue is roughly 90 we have been making a loss.
So there would be a point for us to pay a bribe for more votes but this would negate the point as you state above. While lobbying for more votes I have been asked by people to pay for their vote and have refused even if this one off payment might have boosted our long term income. The other thing is that you can buy someone off but you do not know if they will stay bought anyway. It is a slippery slope that I refuse to enter.
We are as witnesses all trying to set up a "business" that will both support us and help the steem blockchain expand and grow. I do agree that a witness should do more then just run the servers and there should be some engagement.
So hopefully we will gather more votes and generate a bit more income.
break-even will not be there for a long time since we need more servers to offer a complete service and this truly is a long term project and not a quick money grab
if you want to support a new project: