CainIV - 6:01 am on Apr 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
Definitely frustrating, I would have to agree.
However, there is risk - and when the sweep does come along, there are websites that get hit. Over a year ago two websites in one of the genres I watch got hit with paid links penalties and sat at position -51 for about one year.
Many businesses cannot afford this large of a hit.
The unfortunate part, and the part I would like to see more consistency on, is the application of penalties across larger authority websites that purchase links.
Don't look for that to happen anytime soon, as I am noticing a very popular discount store online buying links at almost unbelievable rates, and taking top 5 spots for incredibly difficult keyword terms.
I think the next time I hit one of the major conferences this would be a question well worth asking in smaller circles.