wheel - 2:14 pm on Apr 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Is there a service that connects advertisers with bloggers that deals with a better class of blogger?
I expect there's a number of them that address all of your concerns. I see them in my competitor's backlinks.
However, if you're not up to speed on who's who in the industry, have you evaluated the risks of using this type of service? Not to say you shouldn't - just that 'it's working therefore I should do it' may need some more consideration.
The other consideration you may consider is whether getting your own blog links from bloggers not part of a system like that is worth the effort. You've already discounted it in your post, perhaps you shouldn't.