Well said, Len. To illustrate your point -- I sometimes flatter myself to think that I am somewhat of an "expert" on Arkansas Confederate regiments. Sometimes the information I've ferreted out is so fragmentary that I am forced to make assumptions about how it fits. Sometimes those assumptions are proven erroneous when someone else posts a new piece of the puzzle. Far from being embarrassed about looking "stupid", I am thrilled to finally be able to solve the puzzle.
One reason why I am happy to see so many genealogical researchers participate on the board is that they often have access to personal papers and family histories that we Civil War researchers don't even know exist. We've managed to fill in some pretty big gaps, thanks to them; and we can often track down gggrandpa's service record for them. We help them and they help us. It's the classic "win, win" relationship.