Just came across this thread and apologies for re-opening the debate. My opinion is that the TR rankings are in many ways more meaningful than the USTA ones. When you look at the reasons some players are ranked higher or lower on the TR system it is because it devalues the points earned by kids / parents who drive up and down their State or even the country looking for cheap points from tournaments with low level competition. TR recognizes that and it is good.
One point I would like to make is that there is no recognition of doubles results in the TR system. In this respect I think the USTA system is better where 15% of doubles points count. I wonder why TR cannot do this, i would have thought college coaches are interested in doubles performance too ?
Also why do star ratings start from 6th graders ? There are a lot of 4th and 5th graders playing competitive tennis. I cant imagine it is because college coaches start being interested in players at age 11 but not 9 and 10. Just seems a little arbitrary and it would be nice to extend it to younger kids.