In the FAQ's that Craven posted, they're talking major high-level geeks -- the ones who actually create programs for their company to use, games, Operating Systems etc. They're like car designers rather than those of us who simply know how to drive and maybe change our oil. I think (correct me if I'm wrong, Craven) that he posted those "helpful hints" assuming that there would be more programming minded people out there to understand -- which is kind of the equivelent of posting FAQ's for auto engineers asking technical questions about the physics of aerodynamics or whatever to a group of people who don't really care about that -- they just want good gas mileage and knowledge on how to keep the seats looking fresh.
You have it right, there are some of those people visiting but they generally skip the boards altogether and contact me directly.
One thing, Cobalt's library approach is very relevant to end users. Most end user problems can be solved through that approach. Oddly enough the STFW (search the F*ing Web) line is related, Google is a librarian.
Another thing of note is that the FAQ is not only for programmers but specifically programmers who deal with open source programs that are only supported by volunteers.
If you buy the program the cost to obtain tech support is sometimes included, but free code is often released to an audience so vast that the user to developer ratio is so bad that the developers can't possibly support their code and have a life. And I really do sympathize with those guys, some spend time writing up good readme files and then are flooded with questions that are answered in that file.
The saddest thing is that some developers stop their projects alltogether due to this fact and that's a shame. When people take up too much free support time, somethimes the free support dissappears.