I played around (years ago) with different combinations of '+'s and '-'s and such and settled on '1' for "up" and '-1' for "down" as having the best over-all visual aspects.
I implemented the candy striping.
I did not implement classes for "up" vs "down". Perhaps part of the reason was that old versions of IE choked on space-separated class names. We can probably stop caring about that now.
But I think I'll (instead) eventually add "only show up-votes" and "only show down-votes" inputs and maybe stop forcing people to type in "100,500" for paging (while still allowing similar power).
I also particularly like cmv's idea of teaching super search to allow restricting results based on voting.
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