I disagree about keeping strictly to WordPress. WordPress is a wonderful product, I'll be the first to say it, and it is more than the sum of its parts. But it also wouldn't be as popular as it is without the myriad toys (e.g., plugins and themes) that were created to work with it.
I agree that the theme designer or plugin developer should be the first line of defense when a theme or design blows up in your face. But the fact of the matter is this is a support forum for and by the USERS. If I have been fiddling with a plugin and have figured out how to get it to work or get it to work BETTER, then I'm definitely going to pipe up when a cry for help about that particular plugin is heard.
And yes, Podz, monosyllabic and one link responses are churlish and rude. Is this the picture we want to project of the WP community? Certainly not. However, people who come in here without having done a modicum of researh, but rather who sit, with their mouths open, like baby birds in a nest, waiting for the mother bird to drop a worm in, these people should not be countenanced.
Why should I google links for you when you are too lazy to do it yourself? On the other hand, if you come here with a problem and have attempted to solve it yourself without any luck, or just plain got in over your head, then there's bound to be someone in this vast user base who can help you.
Thing is, they may not help you this minute, or this hour, or even this day. Patience is indeed a virtue.
I owe most of what I know about WP to what knowledge I've gleaned while here. And granted, I've had my toes stepped on and I'm sure I've done my share of stomping on toes as well. But I've met some really nice folks here and I sure would like to see it stay that way.
My take on the "reasoning" for the mailing list wasn't so much to discuss "problems" and "issues" with WordPress, but rather to discuss HOW to address those problems and issues, how best to solve them when people come here asking for help. Maybe I'm wrong there, but that's what I read.
And although I know a lot more about HTML and CSS and web design and WordPress than some others out there, something in me makes me reluctant to speak out unless I'm so darn sure about it that I'd be willing to bet my cat's life on it. This is a throwback to hanging out in Usenet in groups like alt.html.critique where no one's feelings are spared and your every word is torn apart by the wolverines hanging out there. Someday, maybe I'll get over this shyness!