Recently I caught myself worrying about karma points when submitting a new comment. They seem to induce a state of competitiveness for me, making me come up with things to say that may be popularly received. This is not fully coincidental with the general positive attitude that accompanies the excellent selection of constructive content here, the reason I made this site my new facebook (i.e. the place I go to in a reflex for new input when I want my mind to stop thinking about real issues for a moment).
In short: I would be in favor of an option to turn off the display of karma points next to my user name :)