The thumbs-up may turn out to be an ok mechanism by which this community can recognize good quality posts and responses. But most posts are only likely to get rated thusly by a handful of members willing to do the few extra clicks. I wonder whether there might be other good ways to get approval ratings, either automatically or semi-automatically.
One possibility that occurs to me is citation. The buttons/icons on the Editor menubar already have a Link item (the chain link, for inserting URLs). How about a similar button for adding a citation? The idea being that such a Citation would always be positive, and bring about an additional automatic thumbs-up (maybe allowing more than one-per-member for that particular recipient post). A negative or neutral cite could still be made with the existing Link button.
I'm going to guess that, if all the previous links to Joe Riel's Sorting with Attributes post were such citations, that it would already have more than the number of approvals for the great post class.