Answers.com runs a nice answer engine that does just that, it tries to give you an answer as opposed to just search results. Many search engines do this already, they try to give you an answer in the top box, Google has their OneBox, Ask.com has their SmartAnswer, Yahoo has they ShortCut - but BrainBoost does this elusively.
Gary Price took a look at this a while back when Answers.com Buys "Answer Extraction" Engine Brainboost for $4 Million in Cash and Some Shares of Restricted Stock. Also, Philipp has a older look at this answer engine where he looks at brainboost answers.
This came under recent forum scrutiny when EGOL started a thread at Cre8asite Forums after stumbling upon it.
I asked BrainBoost, how many fingers do I have? the response was, "Brainboost is not a chatbot. It was designed to answer questions which are factual in nature." OK, I guess that I most likely have five fingers, but yet it is not factual that everyone that would ask that question would have five finders. In any event, I then asked the engine, how many championships did michael jordan win? and I got my answer from several sources.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.