For those of us with alot of respected users (I have 65), it gives us something of a self esteem boost. Knowing that forum members like us for our opinions and posts makes you feel good, makes it seem like your time spent here is actually worth it.
It's very similar to a hig school concept. You feel great if you have lots and lots of friends.
However it can be a negative thing too, for example if you are a user with alot of posts and have been here a long time, but you are generally not respected by many people, perhaps you will feel like your posts are not worth much, and chances are if this is the case, they arent.
That is unless you do not post very often, in which case your lack of respected users is because you are not generally well know,
So basically its nothing more than a social thing, the more respected users (read: FRIENDS) you have, the better.
Catch y'all later,