The EUobserver has a good article on the effectiveness of EU foreign policy in the context of the Gaza confilict.
If the French presidency showed how successful an EU presidency can be, then Sarkozy is now revealing how powerless the actual post is. In any form of governance, it's always bad to have to rely on "the strong man" (or woman) to do the job. It would be a big exaggeration to make a link with the culture of the "strong man" running the state in Russia, but strong institutions are the best way to make the system work, and the Presidency is far from being a strong institution.
It should be noted that the CFSP has only ever been run by Solana. I doubt he is seen as a "strong man" by the public (though perhaps he's a strong man institutionally within the CFSP), but could his long tenure end up having a negitive effect on the effectiveness of the CFSP when the time comes to find a successor?
At what point does having a strong leader or a long-serving experienced one become damaging to the role they are trying to fulfill?
While the more permanent presidency under Lisbon will have a lot of the underlying weaknesses of the post, it is still a definite improvement.