Ahhh, some refreshing honesty. People don’t pay $300 a pop to Yahoo to be placed in their directory which Yahoo themselves has buried under a small tab named “more” to boost traffic. It is a bit confusing yes, but there is some logic to it as others have suggested. If you’re willing to pay $300, and an editor accepts it (Yahoo actually does have some standards here) then at least Google knows it’s above some auto generated, template spam and that, is something on the “signal of quality” scale they can use. It’s free information on the quality of your site, why wouldn't they use it?
So, there are different types of bought links; it’s not a perfect world.
I would agree with doing this; it can’t hurt, and most likely will sprinkle a little trust on your site. (sure worked for us during the sand box days)
I don't know what your defintion of "big bucks" is, but if its any where near mine, I would not agree with doing this. Whatever their going to do, you could figure out here; [webmasterworld.com...] and here; [google.com...] for free, and your risk factor goes way down, (which seems to be your concern).