The tubes are so easy, though, and the 80mm lens is perfect for 1:1 and larger than life macros.

People like the RB67 for macros if you can handle the size / portability issue.

Another possibility is to get him a 4x5 view camera with at least ~450mm of bellows extension, and a 210mm or 150mm lens. I don't think anything is better than 4x5 for macro -- unless your main subject is moving, i.e. insects.