First, I must say thank you for owning up to it. I'll let other express their own opinions, but I will share mine. Meme making is an art. Most of us start as nobody. I had 30,000 when I first hit the weekly leaderboard and I've been on it every day since, cracking 100,000 on 2 or 3 (maybe 4?) occasions. It's true some memers don't get noticed that should. Ask the advice of almost everyone who's commented on this meme and I'm sure they'll tell you one of the major keys to their success is to have positive community interaction and comment with users. I've heard many users say how their surprised the top members comment with new users, and how that doesn't happen on other internet sites. We all know where we came from and built our reputations the hard way.
To blatantly upvote yourself in the fashion you did, in my opinion, is a slap to the face to those of us who have put in the time and effort to earn followings. My front pagers per month has actually dropped as I've climbed the leaderboard. Points are fun, but the reason for being here is the community and the fun you can have with everyone.
You know you cheated and didn't earn your spot on the Top 100. You've knocked someone out who did earn that spot. In my opinion, this was an experiment, and you succeeded with it and learned something along the way.
If it truly was an experiment I would hope you delete the account in the name of fairness. On the other side of the coin, honesty is important to me, and you came clean once it was obvious you were being called out. I also believe in second chances and that if people correct a negative behavior, they should be judged on their behavior going forward.
It's up to you, and I hope others will provide genuine feedback as well, but from my perspective the right thing to do would be to delete your account (save your memes/stats/whatever else you wanted to gather from your experiment) and make a new account. Seeing how you owned up to it with in a day, and you didn't treat other users poorly, I think you deserve a second chance, and should be able to talk freely about this experience with other users. I would make a new account name that's very similar to IronCobra. You both gained and lost respect with your experiment so it will be a tough decision for you. Personally, I would be welcoming to IronCobra2 (or whatever you choose), and judge that account from it's actions after it's created.
I'm always willing to listen to other users and help new users out...