Planet13 - 8:55 am on Feb 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
There are more than a few sites out there that specialize in link exchanges. A regular poster in this thread happens to work for one (although he obeys the rules and doesn't promote the site in these forums). Of course, one man's link exchange program might be another man's link farm, which I know you wish to avoid.
With the economy the way it is, I am sure there are tons of people out there in those businesses that would LOVE to exchange links, if they only knew with whom to exchange, or how to do it.
I think it was the poster who goes by the name 'wheel' who mentioned in another thread that his most effective link building tool is the telephone. You might just need a simple spreadsheet or database, and a phone (or good email client), and just start pounding the virtual pavement. After working at it for a little while, you will figure out what is successful and what isn't.