Evoke, a week to make an upgrade in the world of webapps is one thing, but to remove a major feature of the site for a week is crazy! Evoke users, tell me if I'm wrong, but this site is full of some of the most high-energy people I've seen anywhere....you could be losing all kinds of amazing people because they are losing a key way for people to connect to open-minded leaders!
Bring back the leaders tab, even if it's "compromised"!
* UPDATE* Evoke: Could you tell us how the usage patterns changed once you took down the leaderboard? That wouldd make a great blog post for one of the developers or creators of the site :)
*UPDATE # 2* How about adding a most Leading Blogs as well when it comes back.
I think having a most viewed stat might be more accurate in tracking "popularity" than the votes as well, just because not everyone is familiar with the vote system. I imagine what ends up happening is when a blog is voted on a lot, it's because the people familiar with the system have viewed it a lot. So in some sense you are getting a "Most Popular" by a certain demographic of users here (ones that know how to use it). You could even get the compliment to that and count how many people saw the blog and didn't vote. This might give you the "Most Popular by New Users".
Just some ideas