I agree that this has been a big issue for a while. There are even the big sites that link out, but only do so using a nofollow to a redirect/link condom that's blocked off with robots.txt. This is probably what their "SEO experts" are telling them to do to preserve PR.
I have also worked for a content site where the team decided to nofollow and use link condoms on all outgoing links due to the fact that "everyone can be a competitor" (ex. if you have an article on widget and you link to widget.com, it will help to ensure they rank better than your article)
I guess that's why Bing wants to use the Facebook "Likes" to rank websites instead. Sooner or later, everyone is going to stop linking to other sites.