Anyway, I think the whole physical proximity of Thor to humanity is overblown as a storytelling concept. I saw some lengthy arguments on other CBR threads but declined to comment because I felt it was all so beside the point.
For the most part, I think location has been used an as excuse for when a writer can't execute the characterization or story very well. Yet, historically, some of the best Thor stories paid little heed to where Thor was. Some happened in space, some happened in one part or another of the other Nine Realms and some happened in New York or Oklahoma.
For example, Simonson's run didn't have Asgard on earth, Thor wasn't on earth all that much and Don Blake was around for around 1 whole issue before getting axed -- but it's generally regarded as the seminal run on the title. In that sense, the whole "Thor needs to be close to humanity and needs to have a human alter ego or he gets uninteresting" is dubious.
Ultimately, I believe that a strong story is a strong story regardless of whether Thor's on Earth, Asgard or somewhere in between. In fact, it's rather interesting that Aaron and Ribic's Thor God of Thunder happens with Thor is three different places: Earth in 9th Century AD, Somewhere Where There Are Dead Gods and Asgard at the End of Times. None of those places puts Thor anywhere near any humans beings that we can relate to (unless, of course, there are folks in the forums who can relate to 9th century Vikings) but I'd argue that it doesn't detract from the story being told in the least.
What's more, looking at other popular comics -- the Sandman had as its main character an entity on a level beyond even... well, pretty much anything... yet it resonated so well with readers precisely because the characters, whether it was Morpheus or Destruction or Death were so... human in their portrayal. That is, Morpheus didn't need a human alter-ego to be a compelling character. What's more, the Sandman stories happened in so many different locales, dreams and planes of existence. In that sense, I don't think its "location, location, location" so much as characterization and good storytelling.
I think a lot of the recent praise for Aaron's Thor (and conversely, the vitriol sent Fraction's way) is that he nails Thor's characterization pretty well (as opposed to Fraction who couldn't seem to tell Thor from a Donkey's behind) and that he tells a good yarn.
Even so, I'd hate to think the formula boils down to something so simplistic -- some stuff just works. The fact is, comic fans are a discerning lot and they know a good story when they read one, storytelling conventions aside.