If you can phrase it as a design question it's acceptable.
I personally find the retriction on asking genuine design questions which have good technical content and instructiional value to be an excessive limitation on what could be useful questions. The aim is to avoid generic "where can I buy an xxx" type questions but in the process I consider ...
Asking for product recommendations is off topic (for all of SE). If you need to ask these types of questions, the chat feature will be the best way, but YMMV.