I read this article recently, by Eric Ward in Search Engine Land, and I was really struck by the idea. Haven't yet had a chance to try it....
How To Use Google Instant As A Powerful Link Building X-Ray
Sep 29, 2010
And here's another searchengineland article from earlier this year, interviewing a spectrum of link builders (also with our martinibuster), discussing backlink analysis, not often-enough mentioned....
30 Link Builders Discuss Backlink Analysis For Campaign Design – Part 1
Feb 9, 2010
I would add some library threads from this WebmasterWorld Link Development forum as well.