Unless you're going out and doing it Lewis and Clark style heading out there with no maps, no guidebook and really no clue what's awaiting you, you are not "figuring it out on your own." Really, the OP here is just a matter of semantics and style. If I decide that I am going to climb Mountain X and silently buy a guidebook and map and do some research on-line, I am not figuring it out on my own any more than the guy that pops up and asks a question without doing research first, IMO. In both instances, you are relying on information provided to you by other people; it is just two different ways of going about it. I'm kind of a loner and bookish at heart so I probably fit Martha's definition of figuring it out on my own so to speak. More social types just come out and ask the question of total strangers. Neither method is necessarily morally superior.
Now, IMO, it's a lot SMARTER to use materials that you pretty much know are accurate as they are in the form of published materials with peer review, but you cannot hold yourself in higher regard simply because you went with the published dude/dudette over the internet forum wanker.
Here's a real life example concerning some of my highpointing travels. I usually hike solo and am quite happy to do so but when I got into this state highpointing gig several years ago, my Dad was kind of interested so we wound up doing like 17 easyish highpoints together. We are pretty much total opposites. I am quite happy to leave my house and not talk to anyone for a week until I get back. I've done all my research, have my maps and guidebooks and know where I'm going. My Dad, on the other hand, loves talking to people and asks questions that are completely not needed to the point where I have just walked away from the exchange. As one of many examples that pops into my head, we were visiting the lofty highpoint of Iowa a few years back and scouted out a hill about a mile away that seemed about the same height as Hawkeye Point. Being the curious type and wanting some more exercise, I asked my Dad if he wanted to go check it out. So we go walking down a dirt road and talking about whatever. And some question comes up about something ... to be honest I can't even remember what the question was about. I'm figuring, well, it's not important and we can figure it out later. So as we're discussing this, a truck comes down the road and my Dad actually jumps into the middle of the road waving his arms like there's been an accident, stops the dude and asks the question. Of course, the dude knew the answer and by the time they were done talking I was like 200 yards down the road. My Dad pretty much knows this drives me nuts and just had this shit-eating grin when he came back with the answer. Now, I could have eventually figured it out on my own so to speak but he came back with the answer first.
So the next time someone asks some simple mountain question on-line, don't sweat it. It ain't a big deal really. Just someone being social. Think of my Dad.