I think the limiting factor is the fin-to-air interface rather than the ability of the heat pipes to transfer but maybe I'm wrong.
Much of the heat has been extracted before the last few cooling fins, so better heat pipes will help noticeably.
However, to support your statement, there is a molecular layer of (mostly) nitrogen adsorbed onto the surface of the fins which has a significant effect on the fin-to-air thermal conductivity. It seems like I read a research brief on some attempt to directly address that issue (short of using higher fan RPM).
Taken together, an improved heat sink could be half the size (perhaps leaving more room for an integral Peltier/TEC, if you don't mind making a lot more heat, though the current TEC designs are not terribly bulky).