I feel like 1 rep today is earned harder than 10 years ago. Here is my reasoning.
At the very beginning, the simplest and more fundamental questions were asked on this site. Plus, there wasn't any "rep-guru" or "TeX-god" as we have today. Nowadays, as the documentation is higher than ever (this sx included), it is much harder to ask a question that hasn't been asked before (the famous
marked as duplicate), or even find a question you have the ability to answer. I found that Should high-rep users hang back a little ? provides good insight. Has anything been done to encourage new users ?
Could anything be done to have a higher level overall ?
Edit : I've just had the thought that the userbase is much bigger now, but I'm not sure on the effect it has and if the active userbase is actually higher.