I have been thinking about this recently, since I get people asking me if Ubuntu will run on XXX machine.
I don't see a problem with having these questions on Ask Ubuntu, as long as they are asked in a way that is clear and specific, and the answers are clear and specific. No, we can't possibly test all computers put out every year... but there are enough people running Ubuntu on non-certified machines that we ought to be able to have some answers. Any answer, even if somewhat out of date, is better than no answer.
If Ubuntu 12.04 worked well (most important components functional) on a laptop, I think it would be really rare for that laptop to not work well on later versions, so even if the answer is "technically" out of date, it probably still applies. The only time when information is likely to be truly incorrect is for things that don't work that might get drivers in the kernel later.
Ubuntu-Friendly is gone, and that's a big shame... but Ask Ubuntu has a chance to use its popularity and community to pick up the slack. And I think it could do even better than Ubuntu-Friendly by having a lower barrier of entry, and thus actually get more participation.
Like the original question says, a lot of these questions get asked. Shouldn't we be trying to answer them? They are fact based, even if the answer may depend on a number of factors... but that's true for most answers. Most answers get out of date eventually, I don't think that should stop anyone from asking the question.
I made an example question here: Does Ubuntu work on the 2013 Dell XPS 15 (9530)?
I welcome any suggestions on ways to format the question to better fit the standards of Ask Ubuntu... but I think this is really valuable information that many many people would like to know... and if they can't get valuable factual information about Ubuntu on Ask Ubuntu, what's the point?