The first part of your question was sort-of discussed over here - to broadly restate my opinion (which, for the record, is based on US copyright standards): A direct reference (link) isn't always necessary for every image used (though sometimes it is - images licensed under CC:By for example).
I would not suggest that we implement an "all images must be explicitly attributed" policy as a global requirement for this site, but rather that we encourage common sense: Attribution should be included where it is requested by the original content's author, where it is relevant/helpful in understanding the answer, and in any other case where it can be done without seriously impacting readability.
For two recent examples: when you crib a diagram from an FAA Advisory Circular linking to the AC is helpful, but linking to the source for the compass card photo wouldn't be particularly useful (as it's a pretty generic image), and linking to the source for the compass photo would be dumb (I cropped that out of a 3MB full-resolution photo of an instrument panel - the compass is the only relevant bit).
Since we require attribution when people use our content it's generally the decent thing to do when we use someone else's content, but ultimately "Google Image Search" is a thing that exists, and if someone is really upset we're using their image without proper credit they can file a DMCA notice with Stack Exchange and the issue will be dealt with.
To the new point you're raising: From a content-quality standpoint bad/generic attribution ("It's from Boeing", "It's from airliners.net", etc.) is (IMHO) worse than no attribution.
The point of attribution on a site like this is not just to credit the original author: It's providing a citation to enable an unaffiliated third party reader to find your source materialand assess its credibility. If the citation (attribution) doesn't lead to a useful place it's not helpful.
Again using one of my recent examples: If I simply said the compass rose diagram came "From the FAA" you would be hard pressed to turn up the specific advisory circular I was looking at: It provides attribution, but it's not a useful citation for someone looking for more information.
By linking to the advisory circular I lifted the image from I'm providing useful context that would enable someone to continue their own research if they wanted to know more about compass pad design and construction (and saving myself having to retype large chunks of the AC to give context to my answer).