How do you know if an item is not identified? I got 2 rings that seem to be doing nothing, but no merchant will identify them for me. Is it because they actually do nothing and are only good to sell?
If you right click on non-identified item to see it stats, it will say something like "Item is not identified) and character will say something like "I have no idea". When you are in shop, all unidentified items are displayed in green color.
Rings, which you get on start, are random. Sometimes they have some minor bonus (right-click to see stats), sometimes they come without stats and are only good to sell, but believe me, you will need all that gold.
About fame and reputation. Fame is a sum of experience of all your party members divided by 250. Reputation is different statistic, fame and reputation can be seen from quick party overview (default key "z"). Level of reputation is displayed like "Average" or "Friendly" - this is your reputation. Killing friendly villagers, and completing some quests/trade will reduce your reputation, but it is nothing to worry about - you can always make some donations to temple to boost your reputation. Completing specific quests raises your reputation.
Highest level of reputation is "Saintly", it is requirement to become Master in Light Magic.
Lowest level of reputation is "Notorious". It is requirement to become Master in Dark Magic.
Reputation tends to slowly go back to Average after some time. If you want to become Master in Light Magic, you will need to plan ahead, because there are limited opportunities to keep "Saintly" level of reputation.