i've been trying to convince webmasters to do 'quality' reciprocal links exchange i.e.: I put my links to them on my pages with content (not links pages) and ask them to do the same.
I made some tests and presenting even competitor's links on my best selling pages does not decrease my sales. Pitty 99,999999999999999% webmasters are scared to do so as they think they would loose money.
One way to keep your links page attractive is to provide unique content. I've also noticed the problem with some sites having 0PR links pages, or worse... not even cached.
What i've done is manually create all my descriptions behind the links. Somehow, I think G see's this as unique content, and hands me a PR of 5... tho PR is not an end-all solution, it is at least an indicator that I've done something right.
Recip link is almost dead they say, but you can still do it... but be very picky about who you're linking with, and where your link is found.