Addressing some of the question, but also some of the comments on the question here. You've been around here a while, so I'm sure you know a lot of this already, but here goes:
(from the comments) I wonder why I bother?
Well, you've asked nearly 40 other questions here that haven't been closed, and answered hundreds of questions, so I do hope you'll be able to get past this particular experience and continue to contribute to and benefit from the site.
without snide remarks .... Not so much name-calling as the kind of remarks adults make to each other when the kid is badly confused.
Be aware that the bar for flagging something "rude or abusive" is pretty low in the Stack Exchange Code of Conduct. It doesn't have to be name-calling or personal attacks, but can include (paraphrasing the Code of Conduct):
"subtle put-downs or unfriendly language" [such as] "You could Google this in 5 seconds."
"[H]e must want it to fail" most definitely (IMHO) falls into that category, and it sounds like it has been dealt with.
Definitely flag it so that (a) the comment can be reviewed/handle by a mod, (b) the user can be made aware that their behavior wasn't acceptable and correct/improve it in the future, and (c) repeat offenders are noticed and handled by the mods.
How can I ask this question without it being closed?
Realistically, there are just some questions that can't be asked here. As the Tour says, "Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.... Don't ask about ... Questions with too many possible answers or would require an extremely long answer"
While you may disagree, I think your question fits the "too many possible answers" scenario, at the very least.
In my opinion, you've done the right thing by bringing the question here to Meta for discussion.
From the comments:
I haven't tried Ubuntu Forums. If they work the way I'm used to seeing on other forums, I'll either get no response at all, 6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer.
"6 conflicting answers to an "A or B" question, or hundreds of replies without any discernible answer" -- this is exactly why your question is off-topic here. – Nmath
@Nmath And that is exactly why people feel unwelcome here. You have a question, you can't get a sensible answer in the forums, you come here and get sent to the forums.
I know from experience that it can be all-too-easy to take it personally when your question is closed, but "rules/guidelines/mores/norms" are a necessary part of almost every community, online or otherwise.
Let me be clear, since it hasn't been said already -- I believe your question is a good question in general. But, as @Nmath said, you can just as easily receive 6 conflicting answers here to your question (and plenty of comments or, ultimately, chat replies), which is why it probably isn't a good fit for Ask Ubuntu's format. It's something that needs discussion, rather than a Q&A style.
I do sometimes wish there was a forum that had the same level of experience that I see here on Ask Ubuntu, but that doesn't mean we can turn Ask Ubuntu into that forum.
"Don't have that question" has been repeatedly put up as an unacceptable response, but that's what this all adds up to.
I'm not quite sure I understand that since "don't have that question here" is a perfectly acceptable response, as I think we've covered.
And why I deleted the question in the first place. As noted above -- I wonder why I bother?
Again, I think the first response should be to flag the unfriendly comments. Then, if the question is closed (or being discussed for closure), you can bring it here for Meta discussion.