The second round of playtesting the superhero setting with the core book rules and No Power Points is in, and the idea of rank-based bonuses still flopped badly. The "Flash" type speedster character completely and repeatedly failed to invoke the quickness power, which sort of defeats the purpose, and players opting to just shoot things were generally more effective than those trying to use their abilities.
For the next pass, I'm going to try cutting the power point penalties in half. That would make quickness still a -2, but better than the current -3 (-4 for power points, +1 for rank bonus). I'm also considering an edge or a setting rule that says you get a bonus on abilities applied only to yourself, so quickness would be easier to cast if you're only affecting yourself. We'll see how that goes.