I'm developing a new information site that will mostly be made up of links to external sites. These site that I'm linking to are the top resources in my industry, they're very credible with high PR. My site will have around 120 pages, with each page having 40 or so external links on them. We're talking over 4000 links! Since it's a brand new site, we're starting from scratch and have no inbound links point to us yet (but that will change).
I am hoping Google and the other search engines will recognize us as a useful resource (like a library site or dmoz) and we'll eventually rank well. But, I've been reading that having a lot of outbound links is a bad thing in terms of SEO.
Will I be facing an uphill battle to get good search rankings?
You could always use the nofollow tag if you want to trim down the amount of outbound links the search engines recognize on your site. That's a pretty simple solution, then you can provide all the outbound links you want and decide which one's you want to influence your rankings and which you want to not be counted.
It is better to check if you link to bad neighborhood as they are the ones that can hurt your ranking. Other than that, outgoing links usually also means spreading your PR to these links unless you have indicated nofollow tag on them.