Mattx: This thread is probably not the best place, but I've been thinking about this too. If you really want to discuss this, I would suggest re-asking your questions in General Discussion or Re: LEO.
As an interim answer: I agree it's something of a Catch-22. In Proposed Translation or elsewhere you may never get the best answer,* only a workable one for a specific context. However, in New Entry you're indeed likely to get complaints if your suggestion is at all dubious. (Someone may even say, as I'm sure you've also read, 'Don't post here if you're not 100% certain! Try Proposed Translation first!' <sigh>). Or else you may never get any feedback at all, much less confirmation. So go figure. Silence implies consent, except when it doesn't.
Despite all that, I'd still say go ahead and give New Entry a shot. WordNet is IMO *not* a reliable primary source (though possibly a useful secondary one), but you should be able to find confirmation elsewhere. Respected dictionaries are the best (in my view, maybe not in Katja's**); Merriam-Webster and American Heritage are available online. Second is other published writing (newspapers, magazines, journals); third is anything on the web, preferably written by a conscientious native speaker.
I haven't had much luck in New Entry yet despite my best efforts. But I hate to give up hope. You've already come up with some good ideas. Part of your bad luck was to hit a day when an eccentric new user was passing through and tempers were fraying. But today ... TGIF! (-:
*For example, here no one has questioned Kinderspiel (child's play, leichte Sache), because it's close, even though 'leichter Sieg' seems closer and 'einseitiges Spiel' might be closer yet. I'd actually be interested to hear more comment on that.
**Do you know who Katja is, and have you read her Appeal to New-Entry users?http://forum.leo.org/cgi-bin/dict/forum.cgi?a...