It will be very hard to overcome the Vulcan puppet perception without cutting their own path. I think the Xindi war may elevate humans in the rest of the quadrant's eyes.
Vulcans are smarter, stronger, far more advanced technologically.. I'm sure humans are seen as Vulcan pets by a lot of races until they avert the destruction of their world without Vulcan aid. The are more creative thinkers than Vulcans and that will be their strength.