I feel intuitively, that a question should be answerable in the original form in which it was posted. That it should be hard, but not too hard, and that once you have found the solution, it is immediately obvious that it's the right solution.
However, Unfortunately, it is challenging to make a question which is exactly in the right difficulty/hint range. If you make the question too easy, it gets answered immediately, and if you make the question too hard, no one figures it out before it disappears from the hot list. What tends to happen, at least what I see, is that we choose to make questions too hard rather than too easy. The reasoning is simple, you can always add hints to a question to make it easier, but you can never take information away to make it more difficult.
Herein lies the problem, or at least it is a problem IMO. We have a lot of questions that can not be answered in their original form. You have to look through the original question, the hints, and the question-askers comments which might even appear inside of answers. So we are left with questions that are sometimes incomplete (all the info is not in the question), no one knows how difficult they are (it may have changed from way too hard to way too easy with a single hint), and which your ability to answer the question is highly dependent on when you visit it.
My question then is what (if anything) the community should do to address these problems. Is expecting a question to be answerable from the outset a naive extrapolation from books with a single-reader and inactive author? Should we establish rules or guidelines regarding how to deal with a floundering question? E.g. answer questions for clarity not but questions which narrow down the question (The way a professor might answer questions during a test).
Should there be suggested intervals for providing additional hints? E.g. if no progress is made for 4 hours, then you should add a hint.
At what point is it clear that there is too much involvement from the question-asker? Could I for instance do a "What am I?" 20 questions style. Where I post nothing from the start and only provide information when asked for it. (Sometimes questions feel like this with how much the question-asker needs to get involved).
And finally, what kind of feedback can we provide askers to encourage them to make their future questions into to the more desirable type of puzzles?