Not really a clarification. Reaffirms our current understanding. The statement against doing it "way too often" clearly indicates there is a limit to what will pass a Google hand check, while understandably being ambiguous about what that limit is.
What can you take away?
1. Heavy reciprocal linking won't pass a hand check.
2. Light reciprocal linking, both as naturally occurs between similar sites, and apparently the unnatural kind may pass a hand check if it's light.
3. The limits of reciprocal linking are purposely left ambiguous which means either there is no clear number by policy or algo to how many recips you can have, it is hard to put a number to it because it occurs naturally, and/or the limits are left to the judgement of individual hand checkers, i.e. Google reserves editorial discretion when performing a hand check.
As we all know, reciprocal linkage occurs naturally, when quality sites cite each other's content. So penalizing reciprocal linking may lead to too much collateral damage. Some people have reported penalties but I have no personal experience with those cases so I can't vouch for that one way or the other if those were a hand check or algo related.
There's nothing new there. I think the important thing for people to understand, and most webmasters today finally understand it, is that extensive reciprocal linking won't pass a hand check. So when planning your SEO, especially if you're planning for the long term, that's a consideration to know and understand.
I'm not saying heavy reciprocal linking will get you banned. I'm only saying that it's clear that it may not pass a hand check if your site suddenly comes under scrutiny- for instance by Google's quality checkers, or if your site is reported by a competitor. A large multipage reciprocal link directory won't likely pass a hand check either at Google or Yahoo- especially if it bears obvious footprints of having been software generated.
All in all, nothing new, just what we've known all along.