Joel Spolsky makes some good points about needing to have experts engaged to make a site like this work:
The power of the Stack Exchange platform is detailed, expert answers to extremely rare, "long-tail," highly technical questions. To get expert answers, you need experts. To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and hard questions, not the basic questions, so that it's clear that this is a PRO site, not a consumer/enthusiast site.... and remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around.
There are some very good questions on stack overflow with brilliantly detailed answers from amazing experts but there are also a subset of questions that are too hard for the majority of users to answer which are also uninteresting for experts.
I've discovered this from my own experience. I've spent the last few days trying to find answers to an NHibernate question. In the end I got an answer by digging through the NHibernate source code, coming up with a pretty poor solution, going to the NHibernate developer google groups, asking some dumb questions about my solution until I finally got enough information to show me how to fix the problem in a way that was far superior to my original attempt.
I'm now happy but my problem is that the very question I wanted an answer to had been sitting in Stack Overflow for nearly a year with just a single poor quality answer.
The people who know this stuff are already members on stack overflow, like Fabio Maulo (who helped me find a solution to my question) and Ayende, but they hadn't answered this question.
So what needs to change improve the quality of answers to questions like mine? Is Stack Overflow always doomed to have this hidden mass of questions that are uninteresting to experts and too hard for the rest of us or is there a better way?