I know what you mean about unexpectedly disproportionate amount of votes - my second highest rep node is one of the quickest replies I wrote to date. I was surprised to log in next day and see I had gotten a boatload of XP - and even more surprised when I found out where they came from.
The "stubbornly remaining at 0" phenomenon is one I've occasionally grumbled about too.
But I disagree about the reaction to downvotes to what seems to me to be a good reply. In that case, I update the node with a remark to the effect of "I've gotten a couple of downvotes here. Would anyone please care to explain to me what about my writeup was out of line or incorrect?". If noone speaks up, I leave it at that and consider myself confirmed that I just stepped on a few cargo cultist toes by going against the party line. If someone does reply and gives a good explanation, all the better - I've learned something, and others who read my node can reach the same conclusions about why they shouldn't do it the way I did. If there really is a very compelling reason, I will <strike> my post and point people at the reply, so that a bad meme doesn't get perpetuated. That's what I understand as the sentiment behind the "don't rewrite history" principle: if you make mistakes, you and others can learn from it.
Granted, updating with an explanation request only really works so long as the thread is alive.
Makeshifts last the longest.