I'm a researcher, and we have similar issues around people asking endless repetitive questions about research methodology. The ethos in scientific work is quite similar in some ways to the open-source ethos. I don't know if there's a historical link between the two, but I suspect that there is. Both have common origins in universities.
I am awestruck by the patience and courtesy, shown, both to my questions, and to the questions of others. I have learnt a lot on the various e-mail lists, and from sites like this. Even saying look here, can be immensely helpful to the inexperienced, as we often don't know where to look.
Anyway merlyn is a phenomenon, and I appreciate him!