I'm not convinced that this doesn't belong on meta, but it's a slow morning, so what's the harm?
ping, particularly, is one of those tools that has a low barrier of entry and provides a high degree of usefulness for a small amount of effort. It's also one of the first diagnostic tools that someone learns in networking. This means that a lot of people of varying skill levels have exposure to it.
The underlying mechanisms are pretty well unexposed directly to the end user of ping. The new user can instantly tell if a host is up or not. At least, that's what they think they see. As an experienced user, you know that isn't always the case. Which is the problem with using ping as your only diagnostic tool.
It isn't an indicator that something is up or down. It's an indicator of response time. A lack of a reply has no bearing on whether or not a host receives traffic, but that's how it's used, because most hosts respond to ICMP packets. I still have relatively knowledgeable users who swear remote servers are down if they don't respond to ICMP.
The result is that as long it's used by users who are ignorant of its purpose, there will be questions. The bonus is that these questions give us the opportunity to improve the knowledge of the people asking.
As for traceroute, it's a really complex tool that seems really simple. "If I traceroute this IP, I see all the computers in between it and myself", as though the internet was a series of tubes, like a subway, where you could see the stops between yourself and your destination.
As you know, the internet doesn't work like that. Routes change all the time. There's no guarantee that two packets will traverse the same path (or even that the ICMP response will traverse the same path that the source took). That doesn't mean that traceroute isn't useful, but that it requires a higher level of knowledge to interpret.
Again, when people ask traceroute questions, we should see it as an opportunity to educate, rather than an excuse to abuse them.