Says the guy with 117 likes.
The number of likes a member has isn't displayed anywhere else besides the member's page, viewable only by clicking on the member's page and then scrolling down and locating it. I don't see how it affects reputation or perceived reputation, it's too hard to find and requires clicking on every single member to find out.
Whereas post count is still seen by many internet forum users as an indication of reputation, regardless of actual content contributed, quality of posts, membership involvement, knowledge, experience, help offered and so on, and it is still prominently displayed along side every post (length of post permitting) easy to see. Same with the association with join dates.
I've seen many members with low post counts and new join dates post the most technical, accurate, helpful, knowledgable and great content as posters with several thousand posts. The same will be true with liked posts, we will see those with few liked posts who are great members regardless of their number of liked posts.
If they want to form an opinion of one's reputation based on their number of likes, that can be a positive or negative association. Maybe they'll see those with really high numbers of liked posts as attention fiends, or abusers of the system like you pointed out as being a possibility. The same way really high post counts can be construed as someone who posts anything at all simply to raise their total post count. Or the way those with old join dates and low post counts are viewed as short mythical creatures who live underneath bridges in children's fairy tales. Any perception of reputation based on likes, posts or join dates, anything besides the member's actual contributions is probably very wrong anyway.
I think most will still form an idea of a member's reputation based on helpful posts, advice offered, feedback, member's whos photographic work they enjoy, or even just enjoying their style of posts/humor/viewpoints/knowledge/experience etc, irrespective of their number of liked posts, post count, join date, gallery size, equipment list or any other arbitrary non-quality-of-character identifications.
I think it will sort itself out.
Personally I'll like a post for several reasons, if the content was posted some time ago, or is several pages back, or the user doesn't log in very much, but I still want to say "that's great, I like it, well done" and let that member know.