Shopping suggestions will be closed almost every time. However there is a tactful way in approaching a question when it come to purchases.
For example, instead of asking what IS the best product a better question would be "What technologies should be considered when purchasing a certain product. For example, I wanted to know more about laptop batteries since mine died. I didn't want to know about which battery was better than the another, but rather prompted for more information regarding what to look for in a good battery.
If anyone asks specifically for the how's, or the what's needed about specific devices relating to PC's and their hardware then the question will most likely not be closed, and more importantly, the OP will get a great answer to what they are really looking for.
Software (as you present for your examples) are somewhat of a gray area, as most software recommendations and/or the OP's desire is open-source. However, the same rule applies that if the questions are asking for "What's the best 'foo' software?" It will be closed. No matter if it's open-source or paid.
This is the main root, in my opinion, as to why shopping questions are so strictly monitored and closed. These type of questions bring no growth to the OP or the general public, but is rather just "fluff" that Super User and Stack Exchange will not be a part of.
I suggest following the same criterion when asking, editing, or voting to close when it comes to software/hardware recommendations:
- Does the question ask for specifics?
- Can a voice of opinion be backed up with hard facts?
- Does the question ask "What's the best" instead of "How do I" or "Is there? " or "What do I need to know about". (Note that these aren't always the best either but I think you get the point)
- Will answering/asking this question further my/others understanding of the topic at hand?