As far as reputation goes in this community, I base it on content of posts. People can post 40 times a day (some do!) and have nothing to say/add. When I read a "smart" post by a member, I remember who they are. When I see a member posting pics of superb animals, I remember who they are. I didn't mean to say reputation in the community sense as much as in MY opinion. That's more what I was getting at. But I also listen closely to what people say about breeders they've dealt with and take it with a grain of salt.
At the end of the day, the "best" breeder in the country might only have 8 posts... or none! But when someone is producing high quality animals, word will spread. The same goes for the shotty breeders.
But to address your first issue, I agree. It can be VERY frustrating to have to settle for less than your animals are worth.
Good topic though.