@nostrad - please don't put words in my mouth. I said SS is going thru growing pains in terms of community participation, not that "SS needs to grow up". One sounds alot harsher than the other.
@aram - I never mentioned support in the official sense, so all those numbers are irrelevant. I was referring to forum assistance. All of this, except for two posts I think, came from other EE users. EE ofcourse has official channels for support, as it is indeed a commercial product, however I was not using them at the time. Forums were all I needed and the response was almost strictly community driven.
This is more a case of a mature product vs maturing product than it is an open source vs commercial product. You will find a similar pattern on Drupal and Joomla! forums. It's just basic power in numbers, but I do feel (maybe wrongly) that the retention rate of new Silverstripers may be quite low for several reasons, mainly the ones mentioned above.
One of the things I do in these forums when looking around is check out posts with no replies further down the chronological list. There is nothing more off-putting when looking at a new system than talking to yourself when you need help. I don't always have the answers though. But I want people to stick with it, I want more participation. Down the track, it's better for everyone here.
Anyway, this discussion has gone a little out of context now. I think the $25 idea for helping with Docs is a great idea, and am willing to donate if an official channel is setup.