Here's an idea that I'm surprised no one has ever come up with yet... If a person is new to the forum, or has fewer than a set # of posts, when they start a new thread, it should automatically generate search results based on the title of the new thread. That way, those who ask common questions would automatically run a search.
To be draconian about it, the mods/forum admins could set the parameters so that the poster has to click on at least 3 search results before their new thread would be posted.
Better yet, wouldn't it be funny if a common thread title is being typed and, as the person is about to push the post button, an automatic pop up warns "You sure you want to do that? Try searching first you noob!"
BRILLIANT! I'm copyrighting these ideas! This post shall serve as the date/time stamp for my idea for those who plan to steal it.