What if there was a 50 point rep bonus for actually reading the FAQ?
I think this would address two issues.
- New users often have trouble with things that are covered in the FAQ.
- New users need 50 rep to post a comment, and many just write an "answer" instead.
If you got a 50 point bonus for actually reading the faq (and maybe even passing a test), we could reduce occurrences of both of these problems.
(Disclosure: I'm stealing this idea from Will)
Edit: If 50 points is too much (and too risky for spam reasons), then how about 25?