If physicists don't have a proper answer to "Why is there something rather than nothing" then they should stop pretending they do by the deceit of changing the definition of "nothing".
The issue of whether anyone has a "proper" answer -- indeed, if there is a "proper" answer -- turns on the ambiguity of the word "why". We use that word in three very different senses.
When we ask, "why is the sky blue?", we are asking "by what lower-level phenomena is the sky seen as blue?" We want a causal sequence of explanations that is static (or very short duration) in time and varies over the reductionist depth of phenomena: photons are scattered by air molecules, some of them enter your eye, trigger certain receptors in the retina, this is processed by the nervous system causing a sensation that your brain has been culturally trained to associate with the symbol "blue".
When we ask, "why did the Challenger explode?", we are asking "by what causal chain of events, one after the other, did the Challenger explode?" We want a causal sequence of explanations that extends over time and is fairly static in reductionist depth: politics prompted a launch in cold weather, cold weather caused the O-ring to warp, the warped O-ring caused hot gas to leak, boom. We want a time sequence that (in this instance) stays at the level of everyday experience, doesn't go in to the quantum mechanics of the O-ring or the grand historical narrative of humanity's existence.
When we ask, "why did Alice go the dance with Bob?", we are asking "what motives and values prompted Alice's decision?" We want an explanation of the desires and actions of intelligent agents, not a story about the atoms that make up her body.
When we ask "why is there something rather than nothing?", some people are looking for "God did it" -- the third type of answer. But there can't be an intelligent agent before there is something, so the question in that sense is contradictory and meaningless.
Some people are looking for the second type of answer: they want some cosmological causal chain of events as to how space and energy came to be. But any causal chain of events would be a thing, not nothing, so again the question in that sense is contradictory and meaningless.
What we have here is a proposed answer in the first sense, lower-level phenomena.
If you're looking for cause-over-time or motive as an answer to "why is there something rather than nothing", you've fallen into a linguistic trap around the ambiguity of the word "why".