If you take what Mat Cutts says literally, authorship may be important in the future. However, I am starting to see more of my articles ranking #1 or #2 with the author image when authorship has been claimed. It looks like Bill Hartzer is seeing the same thing. That may be because lots of crappy articles now have reduced rankings or may be due to improvements in quality for my articles. Like I keep saying, it is getting harder to tell why something happens when there are multiple factors in play.
I've written over 1000 articles over the past 10 years, mostly under pen names or no author name. Only a little over 300 use my real name. I am wondering if I should create Google Plus personas for a few of those pen names. I did see one that slipped through where someone created a Plus account for his dog, but that will probably only last until someone reports it.