I'm new here. Yesterday (my time) I answered this question. In the subsequent micro-discussion that took place in the comments, discovered that I had, in fact, misread the intent of the question, and provided an irrelevant answer. This is not the first time that I've managed something similar, despite the best of intentions.
The discussion which allowed me to understand why my answer is irrelevant was instructive, both to me and (judging by the comment-votes) others.
Should I delete this answer?
Is there a general policy which allows one to make "common sense" choices about such cases, where the answer may not be helpful per se but stimulates discussion which may be, may prevent others from making similar mistakes, or provide interesting context for other answers on the page?
So, (rephrased) is the ultimate editorial aim for elegant answers, or warts-and-all discussions of intermediate working? Or are there cases for both?