It's been pretty well established that the Google PR displayed in the toolbar is of little use other than to webmasters selling links to gullible newbies.
However, how about the PR in the Google dir?
They rank sites according to PR there and I see rather different results in the PR than in the toolbar. Is this the real PR? Does PR even remotely matter anymore? By the way, why has Google all but stopped updating PR in the toolbar, they used to do it frequently?
You're probably right, but I never could figure out why they just don't turn it off if it's just an issue. I think Google had beeter SERPs when it was more PR based, despite the obvious potential for misuse.
It seems the PR in the directory does have some relevance (at least relative to the other sites in your cat) as they use it to rank the sites there. The PR in the directory is quite different that the PR in the toolbar and they did update it recently.