I've been following the Answers project for some time and am impressed enough to jump on board with a 1 yr. subscription.
Please take a look at the discussion forum at http://www.qbn.com. I believe there are some very good design & functionality elements that are applicable to Community Answers. The simplicity of the design is incredible. My suggestions:
1) As previously requested by a fellow board member, ajax pagination /auto refresh functionality in a questions module would be amazing. The ability to have "ask question" button on that module would be great as well. Also, notice how the QBN module is "sticky" and never leaves the page. This is great for viewing various questions while easily viewing all answers in a question thread.
2) My audience is global so having a geography location (and the number of answers) in the module would be awesome as well. Ex:
What's the best beer company? 14 London
Where can I find awesome shoes? 8 Chicago
1) As on qbn, I think it would be great to have pagination links at the top and bottom of the screen.
2) "Answer" and "New question" buttons on the top of the screen would be great as well.
Question and Discussion boards are separate entities. Separate from Joomla Answers, I do believe there is an opportunity in the Joomlasphere for a "lite" discussion board. No one has been able to nail it. A Qbn clone would be an amazing piece of software. With a few tweaks of Answers, I believe you could have another killer product on your hands - just an idea.
Final request... Please don't make a bloated/awkward piece of software like SBunch! Just make things elegant.
Looking forward to seeing this product evolve.