I love Stack Exchange sites because of the amount of knowledge and people sharing it.
One of the best thing is that here you can find real people, sharing your interests and job experience. It's a human site, not a bunch of computer data like you can find on wikis.
This is possible imho thanks to comments. Thanks to comments we can express our opinions, enhance our point of views, have fun, share links and useful resources, etc.
To me, comments are underrated and they can be used more effectively to enhance user experience, without making the site a holy-war place of course.
Please don't say "you can continue discussion in chat". In chat you can find 3 people sleeping, and chat rooms are not good for specified arguments. We have thousands of questions on specific topics, and only two chat rooms... wonder why? because chat rooms are good oldie useless '90.
I think somewhere comments (not merely clarifications) should find their place to allow pacific discussion and view sharing. How about a collapsed box next to the question? If you want to look at it and take place just click it to show other comments, otherwise you won't get distracted by those.
Just for clarification, I never talked about forums! Those sucks as much as the chat here. I'm talking about doing the same identical thing we all are doing now, commenting on answers with personal opinions and points of view, without the fear that some random moderator may interrupt a pacific and interesting discussion.
It's not that we have chat, forums and comments and we have to choose between those 3... probably if we think about it we could find a better solution, without going against the site main interests.