I only have 1 plugin yet and its not in the popular items list but it took me about 200 hours to complete it.
Had the same problem also. Turning off the Chrome extension Adblock did the trick for me.
I’ve been there, which is exactly why I was concerned about this for my own themes. Maybe an admin notice stating that the plugin must be activated for added features, as well as a reference to the documentation page would reduce some of the support issues/ratings issues.
This is a handy script for handling plugins on theme activation. https://github.com/thomasgriffin/TGM-Plugin-Activation