As a newbie myself
ops: , I thought I'd chime in.
I decided to buy a new camera after my POS film camera decided to start seriously malfunctioning. Originally I was going to buy a moderately priced film, and a moderately priced digital. After a little research I decided to buy a nicer digital instead of having both.
I too felt tempted to ask people "what should I buy?" The choices are absolutely overwhelming. Also, for someone who knows very little about cameras, and how they work, I found myself feeling very confused and lost in regards to some of the lingo and technical stuff.
Fortunately for me, I'm very good at researching things on my own (I hate looking stupid, so if I can find it myself, I will). All of my research led me to buy the Canon G5 (originally I was going to get the G3, but the G5 wasn't much more, and it was easier to find). But, I read a lot of review websites, a lot of posts on message boards (that's how I found this one), and even then still worried that maybe I was making the wrong choice.
But many people aren't so good at being able to research -- especially if their knowledge about cameras is limited. People don't like to spend a lot of money on an item that isn't going to be very good quality. For many people, spending hundreds of dollars on a digital camera, only to find that it's a hunk of junk is a very scary (and likely) possibility. So, what do they do? They turn to people who they see as knowledgable and who they believe have some level of expertise in the subject (aka, many of the people on this board). And they hope someone will give them a suggestion that they can jump on, hopefully saving them from disappointment.
As for myself, while I originally knew nothing about cameras (except how to point and shoot), I decided that if I bought the G5 that I would learn. And that's precisely what I'm doing. Lurking around this message board has been helpful, though sometimes I still have questions. When I can't find answers through other sources, I would like to be able to ask here. However, because some people complain so loudly about "newbies" and their "stupid questions" I sometimes worry about asking. I know there are probably others who would benefit from the answers to my questions, but I don't feel like being flamed because I want to learn.
Perhaps my best advice would be to try to understand where these newbies are coming from. Try putting yourself in their shoes. And if you absolutely cannot stand people asking for advice on which camera to buy, just skip that topic. Nobody says you have to read it. And if you can find it in your heart to help a newbie learn, I can promise you it will be greatly appreciated (at least, I know I
will appreciate it).