I'd bet that most of my points go to compliments on someone's avatar/signature and compliments on a funny comment someone made. The rest go to people who have expressed very well something I myself was thinking, or people who have shed insight that hadn't occurred to me onto a topic that I'm interested in. People who craft their posts superbly or just say something I find funny or moving get my rep points.
I like when I get rep points and don't really care why. I have no shame in saying I like my points because I feel like I'm moving up the ranks in terms of rep. However, there's also the aspect that the points themselves come with a compliment that I enjoy (unless someone is using the rep system as a means of back-and-forth communication, or they just rep me without saying anything, which has happened to me). I don't dwell on my compliments though. They're sugar in the cup, but they're not the tea (or mocha) itself.
I read somewhere that happiness does not depend on how much wealth you have, but on how much wealth you have compared to your neighbors and the people you know. As long as you have relatively the same amount of wealth or more wealth than most people you know, you'll feel pretty good about your wealth and your status. That's why people in third-world countries can feel pretty wealthy, because as long as they have comparative wealth or more wealth than their neighbors, they're wealthy. I think it's similar with rep (but, not for all people). I feel pretty good about my rep at the moment because even though I'm on the second page, I'm still not doing bad compared to most people. Plus, I've gotten almost all of that rep without trying or with very minimal effort, so I feel like I've gotten a deal. It doesn't matter to me that people on other message boards that I'm not a member of have millions of rep points. It only matters that I have relatively the same amount of rep points as a lot of the people on MBTIcen. The more rep points you have compared to everyone else, the more repped you feel.
I don't deny I liked it better when I was almost in the top ten in terms of rep, but I don't mind overmuch. We all fluctuate in rep.
They're running just like you
For you, and I, wooo
So people, people, need some good ol' love