No-one answering the many threads on dPreview has come up with the correct answer!
dPreview has to continue doing these ratings, as the small symbol for the website is authorised for use in advertising by the camera maker with the rating mentioned.
So, if a camera has a dPreview 'Recommended' or 'Highly Recommended', the maker can request (possibly with no financial transaction) to be permitted to use the logo splash in their promo material and ads.
This in turn gets dPreview publicity.
So dropping or changing the system is not on the cards. Similar ratings are used throughout the photo media and matter to both the publisher and the manufacturer. Complicating or over-qualifying the rating does no good. It must be simple, and of course, 'Highly Recommended' (just) is still 'HR' for citation purposes.