For the record: the post below is not to defend the point where I am standing. That's why I feel I am entitled to bring this up.
Every now and then, reputation is brought up in discussions as an argument. Used wrongly in my opinion, for reasons pointed out below.
Not the only reason, but an important one was the question here http://meta.askubuntu.com/a/15662/72216, where the question at a certain point moved to a reputation/motivation discussion. The question wasn't reputation- motivated, but even if it were, it shouldn't (have) be(en) an argument at all.
As a general rule, when working in teams, to make sure the team is productive, we need to make sure each and every member of the team has his or her own personal interest in a good result of the team. This interest may and will vary.
The formula of the SE sites understands this extremely well. That's one of the reasons the reputation system exists, and why we have a personal reputation record on SE sites.
The site obviously stresses on the importance of the personal reputation; not only are privileges directly related to reputation, but together with the general information of moderator candidates for example, detailed information is displayed on the candidates' reputation, the average reputation per post and so on.
Of course, we may hope that the motivation to answer (or ask) questions is not purely reputation based, and to prevent misunderstandings, mine isn't. However, as long as we post quality Q's and A's, keep the site's rules, maintain general rules of decensy and good behaviour, our personal motivation is totally irrelevant to the site.
Nevertheless, on a regular base, in discussions, "chasing reputation" is implicitely or explicitely mentioned as a bad thing, a sign of bad behaviour, doing it for the wrong reasons. As mentioned, in itself, chasing reputation, even if it is the only motivation to create good content, is perfectly fine and needs no defense at all.
So, in a nutshell, please don't use chasing reputation as an argument to prove you're right or someone else is wrong. What counts is good content and constructive behaviour. The motivation under the hood is no one's business but the poster's.