It seems the last update made a few people unhappy -- I am very sorry -- But also, thank you for taking the time to submit your suggestions to improve the system. I've taken all the feedback and compiled this to come up with a solution that, at least in theory, should work for everyone.
First issue: I've sold most of my items for $$ but still want to participate.
Fix: The site now uses the highest value of your backpack has ever been. This also means your backpack doesn't need to be public anymore.
Second issue: I have accumulated a lot of rep and feel like I should have rights to vote on more stuff!
Fix: Your multiplier now reflects your accumulated reputation. It's very easy: Your reputation divided by 250 is now your multiplier with a minimum of 1 up to a maximum of 5.
Example: Your rep is 625. Your multiplier is now 2.5x. If your backpack's all-time maximum worth has been 10 buds, you can now vote on items up to 25 buds worth.
Example 2: Your rep is 1. Your multiplier is now the minimum 1x. If your backpack's top value has been 20 buds, you can only vote on items up to 20 buds worth.
Thanks again for the feedback. I truly appreciate the professionalism the users affected have shown. I didn't get anyone crying and yelling - just people who provided constructive criticism and possible solutions to the problem. I truly feel privileged to have such an amazing group of followers on the site.