I’ve spent a few hours on the Cisco NetPro forums, and on the GroupStudy Cisco mailing list. For me, they aren’t helping. My level of knowledge is often somewhere above most of the people asking the questions, but usually somewhere below most of the people answering the questions. A lot of times, I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but I don’t know “why”…so there’s a bit of doubt. Those lists aren’t really helping me with anything.
I do better just reading the book. When I read the book, then force myself to paraphrase it, it means I truly have to grasp the concept being taught. I actually think I understand spanning-tree now. I know I understand it far better than I ever did before, and that’s knowledge I’ve been able to immediately apply at work. (Of course, I have to be careful with that. The guys are work with are calling me “professor”, and that can’t be good, even though we’re all friends and they mean well. I haven’t made much of a deal at work about studying for my CCIE, since I don’t want people pinging me about it all the time.)
My point is that my time is much more effectively spent hammering away at the book, rather than pondering someone else’s poorly phrased questions and answers that are so often sort-of-right, but not quite the entire answer, or the answer with no explanation.