I also had a deep hard look at plugins similar to this but nothing comes close. Photosmash works great for me - I could not find any defect as yet. It is just that the plugin author is p-off with freeloaders that do not appreciate his hard work.
True the instructions could be better, but it is a very advanced plugin and difficult concept to explain. Spend a day or so to learn how this work - you'll be amazed at what you can do.
Alternativaly you may want to look at:
These plugins offer moderation of new posts - or you can use WordPress "Contributor" role, you'll just have to run "GD Star Rating" as a seperate plugin to allow for user rating of posts.