Google's guidelines do not endorse reciprocal linking. Google's guidelines have never endorsed, approved, or recommended reciprocal linking. Never.
If you feel the guidelines approve of reciprocal linking show us the link to where they do that. ;)
Statements like that would be easier to accept if it were also stated that a no-follow tag was being introduced in the same links. This would make the traffic trading links invisible to Google, while facilitating the stated goal of trading traffic and establishing brand.
Otherwise, it's like telling the judge you weren't smoking marijuana to get high, that it was simply for the taste. Until you remove the THC (or ad the no-follow tag to the links), it's just rhetoric.
[edited by: martinibuster at 10:51 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2006]