I may have misinterpreted the purpose of the
close question status, so I welcome all comments about consequences that I haven't considered.
Context: As a
TeX user with limited experience, I am not able to contribute to a vast variety of questions... yet. To maximize my chances, I like to use the sites features to sort questions e.g. "newest" AND "unanswered" AND a only those with a specific tag. I am sure this is exactly the reason why these filters are available.
Problem: I constantly stumble across questions that have no answer, but the conversation evident in the comments clearly demonstrate a resolution satisfactory to the user. There may not be an answer to accept or to upvote, and frequently, even if there is an answer, the user may have obtained their answer and left, never to accept the posted answer.
Question: Shouldn't these questions be voted to closed to prevent long lists of "unanswered" questions from wasting everyone else's time as we go searching for ways to be of help? A closed question seems no less discoverable by an external search engine as people are troubleshooting their problems, so whats the point of leaving these questions open? Is there a demerit to the reputation of anyone contributing (past, present, or future) to the question that then becomes closed? Since this site provides such great recognition tools in the review menu to draw attention to the flagged post, cleanup in identifying for the purpose of closing these questions could be left to the people this really bothers.
Similar question allready on meta: How to end the "unanswered" status of really solved questions in the comments My question is more to figure out what the consequences are that prevent people from voting to close and keep a tidier site.