This is an interesting thread that shows the search habits of folks on C9. What stuck out to me was that it shows that no search should be inclusive by default. Meaning that the forum search should also be searching other relevant content on MSDN like blogs and wiki content. And then there is this, that points out that search is a weak spot across the board for forum software. So there is a great opportunity to lead in this space.
I use paid support a lot as a consultant. Thee frustrating part for me is that because of my knowledge in the product I need to talk to a higher level tech then the monkey reading the helpdesk scripts. If I have a problem that I can't solve on a forum or find in google and need to call, its going to be an issue that needs at least a level 2 tech and not the normal person who answers the phone.
It is interesting that a lot of companies use the same 1 or 2 types of forums and they all provide pretty crappy search. I think if someone could develop a forum that had great search and was also open to google or live.com then they could make a killing selling the software
So how do you take your developer support?
Update: I missed this first post with lots of replies from Larry's blog.