I would love to see EL&U adopt a conversion tool for transforming valid answers that appear in comments beneath a question into votable answers.
Although I'm obviously not as dedicated as MrHen has been to moving questions out of the Unanswered Questions queue, I have spent enough time among the questions in that queue to recognize that it is often clogged with items that are satisfactorily answered either in a comment or in an answer based on a comment, but that no one cares to vote up (and off the queue).
I have recast a number of question-answering comments as answers (with attribution to the original commenter), but very few of the resulting answers have been voted up. Giving my recast answers the benefit of the doubt, I suspect that two factors are at play here:
The question is of marginal interest to most readers/voters on the site, or it falls into a category (such as requests for prescriptive style advice) that they don't want to encourage others to ask about or answer.
Readers/voters don't like the idea of rewarding someone for performing the simple act of transforming someone else's valid (but obvious) answer from a comment to an answer.
With regard to item #2, I don't especially want to be rewarded with points; I just want to clear some of the weeds from the Unanswered Questions queue. But I understand the general reluctance to view something as obvious as a restatement of a comment to be point-worthy.
Elsewhere I have suggested allowing questions to be closed for the reason "Answered in Comments" (see my second answer to General Reference = general clairvoyance? and my comment beneath the OP's question in Hold-Reason Suggestion: "More Research Desired" (MRD))—but that suggestion hasn't gained much support, and I'm less enthusiastic about it myself, seeing that it would drop potentially useful Q&A's from the site's searchable results.
Here's another possibility: Why not permit users who have established the necessary level of trustworthiness—by accumulating, say, 10,000 points, or 15,000, 20,000 points—submit answers that are really just conversions of comments) as a community entity called something like "From the Comments" and then (if they wish) upvote that answer as themselves?
In other words, suppose that user "CaptainMarvelous" has provided a perfectly serviceable answer to a question, but his answer has appeared as a comment, not an answer. I come along and want to convert it into an answer for voting, but I don't want it to bear the stigma of being my "original" submission (which it isn't); so I submit it under the user identity "From the Comments." Having done so, I (and anyone else who wants to) can upvote (or downvote) the answer, just as though it were someone else's answer (which it is).
To ensure that this arrangement serves only the narrow purpose for which it exists (that is, the purpose of moving good answers from the comments to the answers, and thereby reducing the number of questions that linger indefinitely in the limbo of the Unanswered Questions queue), we could add several prerequisites to the system. For example, we might require that the question must have lingered in the Unanswered Questions queue for at least 30 days, that the comment to be converted must have attracted at least 2 (or 3 or 5) upvotes in order to qualify for conversion into an answer, that the converted answer must reproduce the original comment verbatim, and that the person performing the conversion must have earned a specified number of points (10,000, 15,000, or 20,000, say) in order to have access to the "From the Comments" user ID.
This approach offers several potential benefits:
The original commenter, who obviously didn't want the exposure to upvotes and downvotes that comes with submitting an answer as an answer, is insulated from numerical censure or reward.
The fact that legitimate answers posted as comments may eventually become full-fledged answers may impel more answerers to cut to the chase and, in the future, submit their answers as answers in the first place.
The person converting the comment to an answer won't look like a self-serving point grubber, since all upvote points will go to the institutional entity "From the Comments."
Unlike with "Closed: Answered in Comments," questions that may have some long-term value in the EL&U archives will remain open and therefore accessible to search.
The Unanswered Questions queue will have fewer items in it, and the questions that it does have will truly be as-yet unanswered ones.