In the new world:
Each site's meta (other than this one) is designed for site-specific discussions about things like:
- Defining a site's culture
- Determining each site's tolerance for certain types of questions
- Discussing tagging practices, moderators, etc.
And on those sites, it makes more sense for the meta site rep to mirror the parent site rep, since the most "trust" to define the site's culture should be assigned to those that have earned the most trust on the site itself; they are its culture.
This site, meta.SO, continues to serve that role of discussing the culture and goals of StackOverflow.com (and that of Area 51,) but it also serves an important larger need:
It is also the meta site for discussion of the unified engine that will drive both the trilogy sites and the SE 2.0 sites, addressing things like:
- Feature Requests
- Questions about the system as a whole (ads, rep-gaming gaps, re-posting policy, etc.)
On a site about the engine, it does not make as much sense to make the reputation mirror one or some of the other sites. Being an expert in cooking does not make you a more trustworthy improver of a great Q&A network (although you are more trusted than someone who's never used the system, which is why you start with 100 rep for association).
Eventually, it may make sense to pull the part of this site that is about SO-specific cultural or topical issues out of the cross-network-engine-focused site, so that SO's "cultural" Meta system more closely matches the approach of the other sites, (and so the engine needs of a mature site don't drown out the potentially different engine needs of younger sites,) but it definitely doesn't make sense to do so today, for this reason:
The only long-term users of the system today are from SO. They're the "expert" critical mass that's needed to weigh in and opine on things like the way that an apparently good proposal for the engine won't work well in practice, etc.