Being new to Stack Overflow, I am wondering about the restrictions placed on new users. I completely agree with what I perceive to be the guiding principles behind them: restrictions on newer users reduce the noise they create while progressing through their learning curve.
But there is one thing I worry about. If you need to post good questions and helpful answers before being able to contribute fully, and if you take things seriously enough not to answer or ask questions that have already been decently answered, then there is a steep slope to climb to become a full contributor. As the content in the site increases, this slope becomes ever steeper.
There are so many accomplished users on this site that there is only a tiny window of opportunity to gain reputation, while in the past, when less of the easy questions had been answered, gaining reputation must have been easier. So am I correct in thinking that as the wealth of information and the quality of the userbase of the site progresses, it becomes increasingly hard for new users to contribute new content? Is it unfair that new users have to do more work for the same first few reputation points than members who joined earlier had to do? Is there anything that should and could be done about this?