I agree completely that f4f needs to be taken care of. However, I don't think getting rid of follow numbers is the right way to go about it.
See, followers may cause jealousy, however, it also causes motivation. People often follow for good projects, correct? So if you want followers, you need to make projects, and good ones, sharing all your ideas. “Imagine, Program, Share”. We can introduce more ideas to our community if we add motivation in follows.
As for people leaving because of this, well, it's like recolors: Leave if you don't like it. If you really must go, you really must go. I'd advise against that, of course - I hate to see any Scratcher leave - but it is their choice.
I admit I use followers as a meter for “popularity”, and getting followers is part of my ambition. But, I believe my hope to get more followers is what taught me how to animate. I want(ed) followers, so I taught myself how to get them, and I've found out that I love what I do.