"What have you tried?" comments are good.
In Q1 of 2012 - 0.0134 such comments per question (~1.33%) In Q2 of 2012 - 0.0167 such comments per question (~1.66%) In Q3 of 2012 - 0.0169 such comments per question (~1.68%) In Q4 of 2012 - 0.0193 such comments per question (~1.92%) In Q1 of 2013 - 0.0223 such comments per question (~2.22%)
This is generally a good thing, because a vast majority of these questions need serious help (see ChrisF's answer above).
Unfortunately, There is a growing trend towards abuse
Along with the good, comes some bad -- as usual in life.
These comments are bad when
- Posting "what have you tried" multiple times per question is severely obnoxious
- Posting "what have you tried" when the user has clearly shown that they have tried to solve it on their own
It is becoming increasingly common to see "what have you tried?" comments in these scenarios.
Flagging Comments - It is considered a good thing to be liberal with comment flagging -- that helps us clean up after the fact. "Too Chatty" is a no-brainer here.
Unfortunately, that only cleans up after the damage has been done.
All signs point toward the continued increase of the trend of using "what have you tried" comments.
I spend a lot of time editing and cleaning up bad questions. This trend came up on my radar toward the end of last year and it is getting worse. So, I thought at the very least that I'd raise some awareness. The bad case is such a rude welcome to Stack Overflow whereas the good case is very instructive and helpful.
"What have you tried" is good -- I just hope it stays under control.