What can your tooltips occlude? If they don’t occlude anything, then infinite timeout is okay. Then again, if you have that kind of space to leave empty, then may be you should use something other than tooltips, such as longer more descriptive labels.
The purpose of the timeout is for the tooltip (which the user didn’t necessarily want) to get out of the way of something the user needs to see. Consider the case of a user hovering over a toolbar control trying to decide if the command is appropriate for a selected item in a document, then a tooltip appears hiding a key part of the selected item they were studying in order to decide. Timeout makes this problem solve itself. This is also one reason tooltips should have a delay.
If the tooltip text is too long to read with a short timeout, you’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you leave the timeout short, then the tooltip may disappear while users are still reading it and they’ll have to move the pointer around and re-acquire the hotspot (and wait for the delay), which is annoying. You can increase the timeout, but that means increasing how long other stuff is occluded (and because the text is long, it’s more likely to be occluding something of interest). You force the users to move the pointer to see the stuff, and then possibly move it back to choose a command, which is also annoying. The former is probably more annoying than the latter, but, depending on the density of your windows, the latter is probably more frequent than the former –tooltips should only be used for supplemental nonessential information, which, by definition, means that users seldom need to read them.
If you have long text, the maybe you shouldn’t be using tooltips, but what are the alternatives? I can’t recommend using the status bar because users rarely notice things in the status bar since it’s far from where they’re likely to be looking. You could put empty space right under the controls that needed tooltips and dynamically display text there full time with no delay and no timeout, but you don’t always want to use so much real estate for something users seldom need.
Maybe the solution is transparent tooltips with infinite timeout –or the tooltip turns transparent after timeout to provide optimal readability at first. Cool if transparency would for once improve usability.