Ill put my hand up here and admit working (and love working) for an Esri distributors Support team. We aim to get a 1st response to clients within 3hrs, and also aim to make that 1st response the solution (pending the details given in initial problem description). If we have to get Esri involved in the mix, they usually get back to us by the next day.
I have a passion for GIS and helping people and would say that all analysts in our team share these traits.
We have to constantly keep on top of what Esri are pushing out.
If you look back at the last year, there are so many Esri supported platforms now which has meant we have had to fill skills gaps quickly to keep up with the demand from clients.
e.g. Flex Viewer, iPhone API, Silverlight, let alone the new stuff thats looming for 10.1
IMO, this is the best part of working a Support role for a vendor like Esri. Having the chance to learn all these new technologies first, and then when talking to clients, share experiences with how these new platforms might help benefit their workflows.
- Admittedly, sometimes I do think that I know a little bit about everything but not enough about something, but for now, thats fine.
I can't speak for all distributors, but speaking from my opinions (i.e. not from a distributor standpoint) I would encourage individuals that are not happy with the level of support they are getting, to get in touch with their account managers or the Support Manager to discuss further.
Ask for clarification on what is under the scope of technical support, and if you feel that your not getting it, tell them.