I don't want to appear whining nevertheless, I accept that for many members this must be tiresome to hear again and again, but I am beginning to understand why this community has been accused of acting unfriendly and unhelpful towards newcomers.
I can think of ten situations where an answer may be downvoted unfairly or rightly. I would like to know which one my answer falls into.
That an answer may not be liked is acceptable, there are hundreds of answers in EL&U which I do not actively like but I do not downvote any of them.
That an answer is incomplete is open to criticism but still not a good enough reason to downvote, the user should make use of the comment section and point out the error.
That answer may be factually correct but is written clumsily is not a reason for down-voting. Simply do not vote for it and choose a better answer.
That people who become peeved for whatever reason, and then retort their frustration by revenge down-voting, I hear happens, but before down-voting perhaps they should ask that person to defend themself (a new word, which I learnt on this site!). In any case, if it becomes a pattern the guilty party should be given a warning.
That a person has misinterpreted the wording of an answer or the poster's intentions is forgiveable and probably related to no.3 however, this should be rectified if or when the misunderstanding has been cleared up.
That an answer is incomprehensible to anyone who is not a linguist. I think this could justify a down-vote from a non-native speaker or anyone whose level of education is around average.
That an answer is nasty, vulgar and/or damaging to any member's reputation this must be downvoted and flagged immediately.
That an answer shows no research and is false this must be downvoted.
Than an answer is deliberately and knowingly off-topic.
The down-vote was cast by a troll. In as much as a gratuitous anonymous downvote.
August 1 2013 P.S I'm still getting inexplicable anonymous downvotes... sigh...