Well, you (Dominus) are generalising. I pretty much agree with the sentiments of avatar and Hazekel. Although I agree about those sorts of posts (see later)
I've had this discussion at my forums before (I run the Sierra music website, Sierra Music Central).
My personal view is pretty controversial in itself, that I don't feel guilty about pirating pretty much anything from Sierra and its' days, given its' intellectual property is currently owned by a French water conglomerate.
And anyway, 'pirating' games that aren't sold any more is a strange concept in itself (ignoring of course the recent rereleases of some of the Quest series).
But back on-topic. I think Dominus' statement is a generalisation because not everyone posts saying "game xyz doesn't work".
If someone posted articulately and also said they'd downloaded the game, and the problem wasn't related to the download (e.g. a timer issue, or a sound issue) would you deny them help?
A classic example is where my brother was trying to play Pharaoh, one of Sierra's later games (well, Sierra owned it anyway). It worked fine. He installed the expansion, Cleopatra, but our disk missed some files. He downloaded a perfect copy of the image off the web, and was asking questions on Vivendi's forums. The guy suddenly ignored him (after being less than helpful anyway). I mean, that's pathetic.
I guess my view is, we should be encouraging people to play old games, whether Sierra's or otherwise.
Although don't get me wrong, people who post short, contrite statements where they demand technical help yet the problem is with them downloading it shouldn't be something you reward people for by going out of your way to assist them. I just think the potential case where you snub people when you could help them is one to avoid. But I get the feeling people are largely talking at cross-purposes in this thread.
I myself have a Sierra collection that's pretty vast, but I only ever play my 'legal' CD versions, for all the disk versions I use the versions I downloaded years ago. Why install disks, it's a pain (and as Hazekel said, new PC's don't come with floppy drives, my new one didn't).
Anyway. To wrap it up, anyone who thinks they have some moral high ground needs to get off their high horse. Laws in these areas are (in my view) scandalously harsh (check out the US's DMCA, we can't touch anything for 50 odd years after final release, guess if I want to be in some sort of moral highground I can't touch Willy Beamish's music until 2041 plus). My website is technically illegal, for god's sake- I edit and distribute game music that the original composers generally would love me to.
Noone should rat on HOTU, either. Excellent site, even though some of the games are 'illegally' hosted (although they try to not even do that).
I guess my view is- illegality in terms of video games doesn't equal immoral or wrong in the clearcut way it usually does in our legal systems at large.
Old video games that is, obviously, it's wrong to pirate Dreamfall or other new games.
Regards, and sorry for the long one,