What does reputation do except providing a different level of privilege? What is it about? I find people competing for reputation in this askubuntu page. Isn't this page about solving each others problem? Sometimes, I get pissed off with this.
the more rep I get the more I know that I've done a good answer and something people find useful. It's also a competition the more rep you have the more people respect you on the site.
The reputation is a way for the site to show what users are writing the best answers/questions. It's a ranking system of sort.