Thank you Greg for a great thread!
I'd like to make a suggestion, after reading the comments and thinking about it. (Melanie, with my apologies, I may use your name at times, not picking on you, rather you are a perfect example of many of us. You saw a need, someone that ought to have a profile but doesn't, but feel inadequate to do it right, *and* are too busy anyway. I completely sympathize, have often felt the same, and probably many others have too. And we all have so much unfinished work that we know we're better qualified to do.)
I suspect that for each missing profile we find, and think should be there, there are probably several other people who have thought the same thing. So let's use an example, call him 'Famous Jamis', and at various times, Mel, Joe, and Sue discover that shockingly, Famous does not have a profile. They each feel inadequate and too busy to create a good profile for him. BUT - Mel knows facts A, B, and C; Joe knows facts A, C, and D; and Sue knows facts A, C, and E. None of them know enough to do a good profile, and even put together it wouldn't be very good, but we don't want to lose ANY of those facts. Only Mel had fact B, Joe knew about D, and Sue had E. Together, it's a better start, and the more facts we have, the more accessible to others, possibly with more 'jumping off' points. Mel may know about a Wikipedia page, and it's not clear (especially if this is someone from a different country) that others from another country would know about that Wikipedia page.
My suggestion would be to think about this differently, not to think "don't make profiles if we can't do them right", but think "start the profile", and mark it accordingly in the bio as a 'starter', a 'placeholder', an initial effort to get the ball rolling. Then Mel can add what she has, tick all the 'Uncertain' boxes, mark it 'Unsourced' if appropriate, orphan it, and note in the bio that it's just a starter, for others to complete. Joe then adds fact D, and Sue then adds fact E. But Sue sees that Wikipedia link, starts digging in its references, and adds facts F through K. Wikipedia pages can be good 'jumping off' points for finding further research. And finally George comes along, knowing a lot about Famous Jamis, and adopts him and makes the profile a good one.
What would really help is for the starting persons to also add all the access points possible, such as categories (country, Notable, etc), stickers, projects, succession boxes, etc - in order to raise its visibility as far and wide as possible, to increase the chances the right person(s) will find and adopt it.