I'm not a fan of obtaining links similar to competitors because that puts my site in a lesser position. I have beat larger competitors who have been around longer and have more links by acquiring links from outside of their link graph. From that experience, my take away is that poaching from someone else's link network (or link clique) only makes you part of someone else's link graph. You are part of the neighborhood, someone else's neighborhood, but not a leader. Building your own creates a new body of relevancy that can challenge the established sites.