Having been a technical writer (computers) for the past 20+ years...you're right. It's difficult to find the correct balance for an article. One has to assume a particular level of knowledge of the reader. A level of detail that would bore one reader to death could seem inadequate to another.
It is also just plain difficult to write a clear description...of anything. Try writing a description of EXACTLY how to make a peanut butter sandwich, for instance, starting with describing how to open a jar.
Good technical writers are few and far between. A good editor can help a lot, if there is time for editing reviews, but HSM doesn't have the resources for that. I expect Joe and Clover, the HSM editors, have all they can do just fixing minor spelling and grammar details and laying out the magazine pages. Suggesting content and structure changes to the authors would be too much.
Speaking of good technical writers: Kozo Hiroka (sp?) is about the best technical writer I've ever seen. His descriptions are incredible.
Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.