Wondering why a vote to close occurs more often then comments or feedback to improve a question. Down voting costs points right so why not closing posts?
Close votes are counted as "review tasks".
Site contributors may be working toward achieving a moderation badge for reviewing:
So a close vote shouldn't cost points because it's a high-level filter that is considered a contribution. On the other hand, a downvote should cost points, because a comment suggesting ways to improve would be a better alternative -- especially since those with review privileges should be vetted enough to first suggest improvements via commenting.
Edit: Just as an aside, the Stack business model really works towards building Q&A communities. As your question demonstrates, many new people coming in from various pathways still need to learn the ropes. As contributors to the site, we want to see the communities nurtured and improved upon, so blindly shunning newbies by closing their questions isn't ideal (and I think the model works towards making sure that doesn't happen). Yet, some questions are beyond redemption and cannot be salvaged. As reviewers, we've taken on responsibility to assure those ones are closed. Beyond that, I think we'd like to see constructive dialog/dialectic to keep the building the community in a positive way.