On some sites that don't have friend functions, there is a respected by function instead. For instance on this website, someone who posts interesting, insightful, and respectful questions and answers would be a likely candidate. I suppose it's kind of like prestige or rap that goes along with MHs and so on. So, any particular people you would 'respect,' and how many respected bys do you think you would have?
Maybe one or two mods and a few people including Panda, palek, vishna, douride, knowmeyourself, snowwolf, and believe it or not BC Ranger. He is a good guy although I see him respect some that certainly do not deserve respect he shows great patience with rude people and never or rarely lashes out at people being disrespectful to him.