In case there is anyone else of the same mind, I thought I would add my feedback regarding the forum badge system. I just joined, an hour ago, and can't understate how much I don't care about a forum achievement system. It seems silly at the very least, and condescending at most. If active members have high engagement and do well to help other members, they will naturally be respected and become popular; you don't need a boy-scout rank system for that, it just happens.
That said, I appreciate this forum and look forward to having some questions answered.