Recently, it seems to be de rigueur to say that reputation is not important. To a certain extent, I agree. I have a long list of things to worry about and work on, and my rep on ELU isn't high on the list -- much lower than working on my drop-shot. But I admit to a mild thrill when I passed 15,000 and I promptly protected a question because I could -- and it needed protection.
I play tennis a lot, and it is always more fun to keep score. I don't play with people who think winning is more important than having fun, or friendship, or everyone feeling good at the end of the match. But just rallying for two hours without keeping score is, somehow, boring, and we never do it.
And keeping score in tennis is less important (at my level) than rep on SE, because a pro can tell in five minutes what level one is at and who would good partners.
So why do we keep score on ELU, if we distain it so much?
Two recent examples of disregard for rep, as requested by @Josh:
Comments under Etiquette with regard to Downvotes
Comments under The antithesis of a serious problem: What do you do when you have hit 200 daily rep with hours to go, and have a good answer to a new question?