First off, I don't buy that your boyfriend had his dad do all this legwork. To me it sounds like he just kept putting off buying the actual thing, and blamed it on his dad's time consuming search efforts.
Does your boyfriend have a job? a credit card? when I was in college I was constantly broke and only had enough money for food and booze, and sorry, but booze would win out over birthday presents most of the time! (most of you probably wouldn't have wanted to date me I guess!!)
I wouldn't have been bothered by someone asking if I wanted a present, I would have said said no. I don't like getting presents. but that is ME, not you. You are obviously bothered by this and by your boyfriend's apparent lack of effort in doing nice things for you. So don't worry if anyone else would be bothered, if you can communicate this to him without getting in a fight, then do it. If you think he'd react poorly to some kind of discussion on this topic, maybe you should think about how much communication with your partner matters to you.