I agree on a lot of your list, but I have some comments.
Pink was, indeed, a nice guy, but there were hints that, perhaps, there was some "bad boy" under that "nice guy" exterior (and maybe a LOT of it). He clearly had a problem with any and all authority. He was also quick to start smashing people's mailboxes when the opportunity presented itself. In addition, he sure didn't seem conflicted when he got the chance to sneak off into the woods with Jodi even though his girlfriend was somewhere nearby (or soon would be).
Wooderson was also a nice guy, but I can't get past the creep factor. He has to move down at least a few slots just because of that.... and, if he'd even LOOKED at one of the freshman instead of creeping after the still-way-too-young seniors, I would have moved him all the way to the bottom, literally below O'Bannion.
I think Slater deserves the top spot. He was the definition of an amiable stoner, and, as near as I can tell, didn't have a mean bone in his body.
I think Mitch deserves, if not the top spot, certainly a close second. He was just an all-around nice and surprisingly selfless guy. He took a beating for his buddies and risked an even worse beating to help them settle a score. That is a true friend in my book.
I think Dawson, Benny, Pickford, Melvin... and even Carl... were cut from the same cloth: Cocky teenagers who weren't purposely or overtly being dicky... they just didn't know any better, and were in situations where nobody and nothing was correcting them. Though, I would guess that Carl would have most of that dickiness beat out of him over the course of the summer of '76.... and I suppose that is the whole point of the exercise.
Tony and Mike are similar too, but I think they belong higher on the list. I think they are both nice guys whose "I'm too good for this" vibe is really a result of us misinterpreting their social anxiety.
Darla, Clint, and O'Bannion were all sociopaths who definitely belonged at the bottom of the list.
Anyway, that results in a list something like this:
3. Jodi (clearly, Ms. Kramer has done a great job. She's raised two darn good kids as, presumably, a single mom)
4. Tony/Mike (tie. Good guys whose social anxiety makes them appear to be acting like they are "too good for this")
6. Pink (I can't help but think if we followed Pink around for the summer instead of one night, we might find out that he is quite capable of being a not-so-nice guy... at least sometimes)
7. Wooderson (again, if I learn he was actually creeping after freshman, instead of just making jokes about creeping after freshman, he goes right to the bottom of the list)
8. Melvin/Dawson/Benny/Pickford/Carl (tie... none of them are bad guys, just occasionally douchy. And that is due more to the cockiness and a lack of self awareness that most teenagers are prone to rather than any fundamental "badness".)
122. Darla/Clint/O'Bannion (all budding sociopaths)
Great answers, guys, and I enjoyed reading them. I love this movie! :-)
I would rate Dawson closer to the top than you have. He wasn't overtly a dick, and he did give Mitch advice about Julie on a couple of occasions, showing that he could be a decent friend even to a freshman.
I have to agree. Dawson's "jerk factor" really didn't go any farther than "cocky high school football star." (I would say the same about Melvin, too.) He was cool to the freshmen once the paddling got done (remember he gave Hirschfelder a beer after, to Benny's annoyance), he looked ready to defend Mitch against O'Bannion after the freshmen's revenge, and he accepted Pink's decision to not sign the pledge, even though he probably wasn't thrilled about it. So yeah, I'm going with Don being a pretty good dude beyond the usual harmless, obnoxious teenage guy stuff. I'd say Benny was a lot worse than Dawson.
As far as the guys in the film were concerned, I thought the only ones who were true a-holes were O'Bannion, Clint, and to a slightly lesser degree, Benny. Carl was just obnoxious; there are 15-year-old boys like him all over this country. Mike and Tony were clearly good guys, just socially awkward. Jodi and Cynthia were my favorites among the girls; I also liked Sabrina, and Shavonne was all right. Kaye's hyper-feminist bitchiness was annoying at times, but Darla was really the only true bitch in the bunch.
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.