The recent OKCupid blog, which gwern mentioned in Media Open Thread, investigated the impact of three different factors on users' perceptions of each other: authority (reported match %), profile text (present or absent), and looks.
On the bright side, the authority versus reality match-up came out tied:
If you don't consider that a good outcome, you're not yet sufficiently cynical.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are a thousand words worth?
... Approximately nothing.
And the winner is...