Sometimes when I found problem in free software which tortures me too much, I try to fix it and submit patch to upstream. What riles me is how many authors ignore submitted patches.
I came to this idea when recently somebody complained that patch I submitted for Python 2.3 (in times when it even was not final) does not apply to current Python 2.5. What a suprise! I had to create several patches for Python when I worked for SUSE and most of them didn't receive even single comment. Same applies to several other patches I made, however I don't probably remember most of them.
Only SourceForge allows me to review what has not yet been accepted. There were several attempts to improve detection of search engines and browsers in AWStats, but author seem to prefer to add own list instead of using patches from tracker. There is support for non-latin languages in Klear, but even posting to mailing list didn't rise interest in this patch. And of coure few Python patches I mentioned at the start.
I try to do my best to integrate patches for my projects (mostly phpMyAdmin and Gammu related software) as soon as they arive as it saves time and energy of both sides. And contributor is then willing to provide more patches if he can see they will be most likely accepted.
But it's your choice how you want to develop your software! Either stay alone or accept patches from community.