Harmon,
You may have been another victim of the game host of the server you play on, not the other players in the game. There are at least two we know of that are editing thier players, this is only possible from the server side; the game host.
One host has admitted to his woes, he was editing players so others would benifit - not honest at all.
It is bad enought that the players cheat at the game, it is worse when the game host assists in the cheating.

On another issue you bring up a good point that if your strength or hit points go down, so should the cost to aquire more. I agree with you on this.