I think that this forum is a good idea, I would like to see it used as an addition to support, not a total replacement, I hope that WA isn't doing what most successful e-commerce businesses do--force their users to jump through loops to get to help thus discouraging anyone from even trying.
And the captcha? I had to type into the captcha area 3 times in one hour. If your eyesight isn't great, (you happen to be a bit older than most, :)))
it's a nightmare.
We are still providing full tech support. It's just that we are making Q&A public so they can become resources for all... and we use our private ticket system whenever sensitive information of files need to be passed. We are optimistic that this will provide LESS hoops for our customers to jump through. Sure, you may have to look through documentation on a product or search the forum to get an answer to your question, but as developers, we like having answers out there, even if it takes some searching, as opposed to waiting for someone to solve them for us. And if you can't find an answer, please just post to the forums. Our tech support team is manning them, just like they did the ticket system. And in addition, we have our Community Experts helping provide answers publicly.
We are constantly working on improving our documentation and have made giant strides in the last year. If there are any specific documentation suggestions, please feel free to start a thread in the wishlist forum so your voice can be heard on specific topics.
I just altered the CAPTCHA settings and hope the letters are a little easier to read now. Also, the CAPTCHA requirement goes away after 15 posts. Our spam posts dramatically decreased after we added CAPTCHA so we do need some level of it, despite the inconvenience.