jk3210 - 10:18 pm on Apr 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Why am I not doing paid links as a primary strategy?
I guess you could call this a reason from Matt Cutts...
March 3, 2010
"Google has been working on some new algorithms and tools to tackle linkspam and we’d like to ask for linkspam reports from you. If you’d like to tell us about web sites that appear to be using spammy links (e.g. paid links that pass PageRank, blog spammers, guestbook spammers, etc.),..."
Google has been doing the war-dance about paid links for many years, but while it's absolutely true that you can still pay your way to the top, maybe Google has a new method to identify paid links. (I doubt it, but it's possible)
On the other hand, the risk is that even though you run a completely white hat site, you could still get nailed by something like the -950 and suffer just as bad as if you were the worst spammer in the history of America.
It's a hard call unless your site is a throw-away you don't mind experimenting with.