I've heard various ideas such as limiting it only after mods have expended their points (this will require implementing a cooldown to prevent a user from getting points again too soon). I want to hear your feedback, and I'll roll together something for the next major update of the site. Leave your comments
Another thing to think of is measures to make moderators more aware of the fact that they are doing mainly a service to the readers, not to the posters. Too many people consider mainly the effect their moderation does on the authors (affecting their Karma, giving them feedback), and due to this for example don't moderate up AC posts by principle (because the AC won't profit from that anyway, or because they are generally anti-AC). But the main point of moderation is to have good posts stand out for the reader, while at the same time saving the reader from having to sift through the bad posts. That is, the moderators should have mainly the reader in mmind when moderating, not the author.
I have no idea how that could be encouraged (other than by trying to educate the moderators whenever they publicly say something about having such a policy), but every step in the direction of encouraging the moderators to consider the readers before the authors when deciding on moderation would be a good step.
It is outlined in the first few sentences of the Moderation Guidelines. [soylentnews.org]
Maybe we should make a big link to this doc the first few times a user receives mod points.
Well, one way to encourage sifting thru AC posts might be to only charge half a point to mod AC comments. OTOH, that could make downmodding 'cheaper'. :(
Personally I don't pay much attention to the userID, or lack of, when I mod. I was amused the other day to discover I'd given an upmod to a friend's post without realising it was his handiwork.