It seems many new users don't get some of the ideas of SO, esp. the concept of accepting answers. Can't we just display a prominent message with a short, useful hint about this for new users? I believe around 40 words are easy to read, easy to dismiss with a click after a few seconds, and increase the understanding of SO by a magnitude.
I'm aware there's the "First time here? Check out the FAQ!", but reading the FAQ is not quite what a desperate, answer-seeking person is up to. And even if they bother to start reading the FAQ, there's a fair chance they get bored after a few lines, before even noticing the term "accept".