After having been away overnight and then scrolling through the list of active questions since my last visit I came across this one. If I try to boil this down to its bare essences, it would be one of the following:
Which research area would fit these criteria?
What can I study doing X and Y?
How can I connect my preferences into a research project?
All of those would normally — in my opinion — get hammered down pretty quickly as too broad or primarily opinion-based. Yet the question is open, counts a whopping 11 upvotes as of now, and the close vote review I induced with an opinion-based vote was completed after three leave open votes.
What am I missing?
Note: the question has since been heavily edited. For the sake of this post, please consider this old version of the question.