At least that's what I've heard. Maybe now that the social groups are gone they'll try again, but as for now unless the hstaff feel that the forum-base has matured it won't be coming back.
Not too sure if it'll come back or not; that's up to the higher staff. I'm sure it's been considered before. A system that only allowed +repping posts might work, but again, I'm sure there's reasons it hasn't been brought back like that. (The possibility of things turning into a popularity contest, etc)
However, like I stated above, if users were only allowed to + "rep." another user, and have to leave a comment as to why you gave said individual a "rep. point", it would help members identify why that member is helpful, or in the instance of adding a "rep. point" due to the fact that they just like that user, we could determine if someone has accumulated an unfair amount of "rep.".