Putin still has nearly five years of his third term left to serve and I see no evidence, at this point, that he will not do so.
His "macho" image in the West seems to me to be more a reflection of the Western media's inordinate interest in sexuality in general. In Russia Putin is most often regarded as decisive and forthright. Both men and women here tend to see these as rare virtues among politicians.
You talked earlier about a young generation of Russians searching for a post-Soviet identity. The Western press often makes it sound like young people in Russia are miserable. Are they? Who are these people searching for a new identity?
Given Russia's integration into the world economy today, I would say that this generation has pretty much the same ambitions and the same opportunities as their Western counterparts. Culturally, they are less concerned with Russia being part of the "West" than they are with Russia being modern and economically competitive. That makes China an equally attractive destination for many young people.
Other countries often view Americans as arrogant, privileged, and poorly educated. What do Russians think of Americans?