I understand badges represent "feats" on SO, but I think they can also be a great tool to reward individuals who show dedication to making the community better. With rep, you earn a certain amount, and you get extra privs like editing or voting, etc..
I propose that within questions that qualify for your badge, you get extra votes. For instance,for every silver C++ badge, you now get the chance to "extra upvote" questions and answers tagged C++. When you get a gold C++ badge, your upvotes don't count towards the poster's daily 200 rep limit.
To clarify, these benefits would be limited to only within the area which you earned the badge.