Here it is...Today's Eureka Moment - Yes, I got an idea ;-)
Most would agree on the diversity and choice (read freedom) of Audio related applications (ALSA, Pulseaudio,etc) in Linux.
Audio issues is an oft repeated complaint by newbies, perhaps due to lack of awareness of configuration options available in Linux. Typical issues such as Sound not working in Speakers, Headphones, HDMI, etc could perhaps be addressed by tweaking some of the basic settings. However, an easy to use diagnostics tool that guides this process would be of great help to users.
My suggestion for Linux Mint Desktop is to build a Step-by-Step wizard which helps users solve their hardware related issues. This can have a series of questions and based on user responses, wizard should guide the users to naviagate to the various settings - recommended intelligently by Mint based on available applications in the system. (Alsmaixer, Kmix / Phonon / Pavucontrol, etc in case of Audio)
For instance, Audio Diagnostic Wizard (Sample Questions hence trivial in nature) questions could be of the nature -
1) Are you sure you are not muted?
2) Are your sound levels properly set in Alsamixer?
3) Are you sure Sound card drivers are properly installed etc.
4) Is your sound card listed?
5) Is your device (headphones) plugged in properly?
Possible Solutions could be - Restart Pulseaudio, Re-install drivers, Switch Audio Channel to Built-in Audio Analog Stereo, etc
Frankly, I *could not* visualize all the aspects, so if am making sense and if you consent to the basic idea - please cast your vote. :-). Also provide your inputs as comments and I will try to incorporate your comments and articulate the idea in a better manner. Else, feel free to shoot it down, which is expected of the community moderators.
To start with, this could probably be first implemented in Cinnamon dekstop.
This could also be implemented in a more generic fashion to solve any hardware related issue - My Wi-Fi / my printer / my graphics card / my webcam / my mice not working, etc. Atleast such a wizard will help in solving simple issues and restrict the flow of trivial questions to forums. Also thinking if it is implemented, whether this can work both offline as well as online. Think of the wizard as a context sensitive help feature.
Edit - Finetuned the idea.