Dividends do repay investors, but the price always adjusts ex-dividend. A value investor is not happy owning a declining asset even if the dividend pays at regular intervals. They always look for capital appreciation and will, whenever they deem appropriate, convert unrealized gains into realized.
You seem to be referring to buy & hold. Taking the Dow as a market proxy, if you bought BEFORE June 1999, you are currently at break even... over 10 years later. Congratulations, you're strategy is working out perrrrfectly.
I have to say I'm not particularly interested in discussing this with someone who thinks the classic value investing paradigm is comparable to buying and holding an index at the worst possible time.
If it is that way, then it's a zero-sum game