A little back-story -- Recently I saw a question SO (with a bounty of +50 rep) where I knew the answer. Someone had already attempted to answer the question both in comments and with an official answer, but it did not solve the OP's issue. So, I posted the correct problem, and then posted a link to a very nice blog post I found with a detailed step-by-step of how to fix it.
The first answerer then updates their answer to include the info from the blog that I posted and even credited me for finding the info, and the OP accepts their answer. After the initial disappointment, I began to genuinely question which IS the better answer, and which should be accepted. Is the better answer the one that solves the issue, or the one that is more thoroughly laid out in the answer section without extra links to external info?
Here's the real question...
What are the top three qualities/attributes of an answer?
P.S. This question is not intended to be a complaint. In fact, in the above mentioned question neither my post nor the accepted answer was IMHO "best"; it was a third answer that was best because it was more elegant and better described the problem.
Really I'm looking for a litmus test, or rule-of-thumb checklist of for weighing two or more correct answers.
The best answer here should clarify, better refine, or present what you believe are the best principles for selecting an answer.