"A lot of people for some reason, do find XP to be important."
For some reason, these are very often people trying to work their way 'up' in the XP scale, with the ultimate goal of achieving sainthood. Few Saints give major importance to XP.
"It helps weed out bad posts/flames/etc."
I agree that it helps, but the ultimate tool for that still remains the consideration and potential reaping actions.
Everything went worng, just as foreseen.