Happy 9th Birthday Rep Rap. I built my first 3D printer, a Fab@Home around this same time. The Rep Rap results seemed so crude in those early years and so I decided to build the Fab@Home. I even had a slick UV light that was mounted to a circuit board for curing light sensitive paste. The laser cut frame was so cool looking too.
Needless to say the Rep Rap project caught up and quickly surpassed the Fab@Home with the large network of people working on the open source development. The Rep Rap project would lead to me building a standard Mendel, a Prusa Mendel, a MendelMax, a Mendel 90, a very early Prusa i3, an early Rostock, an early Morgan, and later several Prusa i3's. This has also led to countless students becoming active in 3D printing/digital fabrication, and these same students going on to get jobs in emerging fields related to tech and design/making.
I can't begin to explain how fortunate I have been to meet so many great people as a result of the Rep Rap work. At the time I was experimenting with these printers I wasn't sure if it was something I should be pursuing in my personal work or not. It pays to follow you passions!