I just mean that its silly to complain about log ins when up votes are so much more significant. With 1 log in and 5 upvotes you get 180 rep a month or 1/5th of an article for none of the work though. Also because the rep system is so top heavy there is no need to worry about articles, you hit the top level for nothing. Sure 5-10 people will have 10-20k like hodgman does after a bit, but the next 20 will have so much less that upvoting will be the single most important method of gaining rep. Actually getting an upvote is insignificant compared to giving one, you can't control it and I've often got 10 upvotes and then 6 downvotes on the same post.
In order to balance reputation you need to weigh the cost of getting an upvote vs losing one.
To get an upvote you need to write a post. After writing a post you also have a chance to get a downvote. Alternatively you could get neither. On average if I write 5-10 posts a day and get 1 net upvote I will get 2 more rep from my 5 given upvotes thus meaning I get 2x as much rep logging in and giving out 5 upvotes compared to writing 10 whole posts and getting 1 net upvote.
Writing 5-10 posts takes up to 2 hours of concentrated work. Logging in takes almost no time and reading and giving upvotes takes maybe 10-30 minutes. Assuming I bothered to upvote which I personally rarely do. So it takes 1/4 as much time to get twice as much reputation.
In this case it seems like we should give say, 5 points for getting an upvote. Its still less value for more work but its almost even, close enough. Unless we want to argue that making posts worthy of upvotes is worth more than logging in and giving out upvotes which many people might argue is the case. And then we should raise it even more to meet that criteria.
AllEightUp has 1659 rep. That puts him almost even with my 3 upvotes plus 1 login per day given the 100 base rep.
According to my quick check it appears you get:
50 peer review
100 moderator approved
So 165 points per article. You then get a whopping 1 extra rep per upvote over posts. So you need 41 upvotes per article to equal the value of getting it approved in the first place. The average article appears to get 10-15 upvotes. Given that the most active members have already read and made their judgements on each article we can expect perhaps a 4th root tail per year. So with 16 upvotes in the first month we would expect to have 20 upvotes in the first year and then 2-3 more upvotes per following year.
This the value of articles is mostly seen in the first month, even upvote wise, much less the 165 for having it accepted. In fact he got 990 points for the review process. How much has he gotten for upvotes? Doesn't seem like the articles are worth more than the initial 165.
Also how long did he spend writing those articles? If the cost/benefit is too small, they will become only a token boost to reputation over time. And since we can gain 1460 rep a year, by the time 5 years has passed the majority of active members will have over 8000 reputation for just upvoting 3 posts a day. Even if a new user dives in and writes 20 top level articles he will get only 3300 reputation to compare to 100s of members who did nothing but make a minimal number of upvotes a day and log in.
Articles seem like a shit ton of rep now, when 9 articles can accomplish the same as a whole year of slow rep creep, but if the site exists for a longer period, say a decade, articles will barely be of any consequence rep wise.
It probably doesn't matter since reputation systems are garbage anyways, but if we operate on the assumption that they are valuable it does pose a problem.