Can someone please explain something to me? I don't know how prevalent this attitude is among the followers of this thread, but I've seen it mentioned (or PODed) at least a handful of times.
For the purpose of this question, we are talking about normal, polite interactions (not toxic people, not people who have no respect for boundaries, and not anything else outside of normal, polite behavior).
How is it acceptable for a person to completely and totally ignore a direct question? Would you seriously think it was totally fine if you went up to someone at a party, asked them how they've been, and received a blank stare in response?
Since I highly doubt anyone would be okay with that in a face-to-face interaction, why on earth is it different for email?
I am completely mystified by this, because I thought it was one of the most obvious and widespread tenets of polite society that you answer people when they're talking to you. It's one of the very first rules of manners that I learned as a child, and I can't imagine that other children were not similarly instructed.