The OP is about rating responses to an opening contentious thread or post, Warwick. One descends (in "dickiness") to lower and lower levels by deliberately choosing to inflict emotional pain on another poster (or his presumed "posse").
I associate that descent with trolling, but trolling on the internet is way more complicated than that--and I do cite some of the complications in linked articles.
There is another side. Rather than looking for opportunities to inflict pain, one might be looking for opportunities for enlightenment, personal growth, or, less seriously, just a joyful moment.
That thread or post could be rated upwardly on an ascending five point scale:
1. Interesting and informative
2. Worth at least a click on a provided link--or a Google search.
3 Worth a sincere query or supporting post
4. Worth a full blown exchange of questions, insights, and links
5. Leads one to think through, suggest, and prepare a new thread--or an extended response.
Warwick, your responses would be more often rated on the ascending scale, and your "joyful moment" side bars are always appreciated.