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The comment link should be always visible. For users without enough rep to comment, clicking on it should give a nice popup, just like those on the vote buttons, informing them that they need more reputation to comment.

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I suspect that will generate a different frustration: Folks will complain about why they're encouraged to "comment" if they're not allowed to yet.

But I agree with the sentiment - in a more "button-based" app, I'd think what you'd want is the equivalent of a "grayed-out" button in a GUI, possibly with a hovertip telling you how much rep you need. Would that work in a "link-based" app?

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Remember that users with 1 reputation can comment on their own questions, answers, and any answers to their questions.

In fact, we pre-expand the comments on questions asked by new users to ENCOURAGE them to use comments.

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