Dragonfly wrote:...not all of us have the required education and knowledge to compete with some (not many) of the forum members.
I don't know. I just looked at the member list by reputation and it's obvious that the top ranked people aren't exclusively the experts of the forum. Far from it. I do think the list (perhaps with the exclusion of a certain typing canine) accurately represents people who've added a lot of value to the forum, even if their contributions aren't strictly technical. Now, perhaps to the admins, that's a shortcoming of the system, but I don't see it that way.
I might suggest that we simply not display the user reputation at all. Keep the voting, and perhaps the reputation within the user's profile if anyone wants to look, and give people whatever benefits or penalties are due a low or high reputation - but just don't advertise it, so that it's not a popularity thing. After all, it's supposed to be about the posts and not the poster, right?
To add some rationale for that suggestion, one thing I've noticed is that the votes people have given me seem to have accelerated as my reputation has increased. That may be coincidence, since this is the time of year when I'm most interested in the sport and therefore more active here; but it also could be a psychological thing where people attribute undue weight to my posts simply because I now have a fairly high reputation. Something to consider, I think.
I also might suggest that the posts which have been voted up could be made more visible in a way. Perhaps a different background shading or text color or something - if possible. That would make valuable posts more apparent, and would also call more attention to some of the poor voting that happens (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective).