Here's what I think happens:
I user starts using project X, and seeks help. They see a deficiency in support, so start helping people on the project X forum/IRC/mailing list. This user spends all kinds of time, researching answers, analyzing XYZ "how to article" the other users claimed to follow.
The user seeking help says, "well, I followed XYZ how-to to the letter, it's obviously something wrong with project X"
Helpful user points out the man page indicates different from what the how-to claims.
The user refuses to read the man page, just wants Helpful to tell them what to do.
The problem is two-fold: there are lazy users, and burned out helpful folks. The latter gets jagged, but the new users stay lazy, because they're always new. Once they move beyond new, they fit the middle ground.
Unfortunately, I don't know of a solution other than paid support. These guys get paid to stay nice, but the users stay lazy.