Well.. I think once anyone understands how the Rep System really works and how Reps are actually earned...given and taken... they will see the System is quite useful..
Especially since c0ldshadow enabled us to see the Rep Comments for the reps given...
You can get an idea of the basic workings of the Rep System here...
it's not random.
Each person has a rep power. The more rep you get the more your rep power goes up. My rep power is 16 so when I give you rep, you get 16 points. Someone with a rep power of 2 will only give 2 points.
it's a thing that those that have been here a while and earned the higher reputation points are supposed to be a better judge of character so their rep weighs more than someone with a rep power of 2
-rep is definitely much more important to be able to review than +.
Just the fact of the +rep being there is information enough (since +rep tends not to adhere to strict guidelines), while -rep (almost) always has a significant reason behind it.
Negative comments should always be viewable so long as the user has -rep on their record. E.G.: Say a user puts an item up for sale and gets -rep from the transaction because he misrepresented the item and refused to work out a solution with the buyer. Now, say that person stops selling for a while, racks up 10 +rep comments for making a few jokes in off-topic threads, and goes back to selling. Any potential buyers would be none the wiser regarding this member's poor performance before.
that would be ok so long as reps would be given ONLY in a sales-related fashion. There are people who give -rep not only because they were swindled in a sale, but out of simple dislike of anothers posts, person, way of expression or opinion. Generally, both + and - reps may be given in a responsible or irresponsible manner, so there's no reason to treat them differently.