I have just enabled a new sort feature which should appear as a new tab called "Rank" on any of the topic listing pages (by forum or subject within it).
There's also a "Hottest" link in the main nav.
What does it do?
Well, think of it like Active Topics ... the latest things go to the top. Except instead of anyone being able to make something go straight to the top simply by posting on it, now the ranking is based on a combination of things including how many likes and dislikes they have received combined with when the posts were made.
What should happen is that likes for new posts will give them a boost as will replies but over time their effect will diminish. Nothing will stay hot forever, even if it has recent replies, so it will gradually slip down. But things that are getting a lot of comments and likes should stay higher in the list for longer.
Also, small numbers of likes / dislikes will have almost no effect (because there's not enough consensus for the system to decide what the opinion is) and the effect of likes wears off beyond a certain number as well.
No doubt some of the parameters and the "boost" that different factors make will need to be tweaked but we'll see how it goes. I also want to eventually factor in the reputations of the people doing the voting and commenting - i.e. comments from respected posters with good reputations would count for more than the dislike clicks of someone who goes round disliking everything.
Give it a try and let me know what you think !