Planet13 - 4:52 am on Sep 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
Everybody has an opinion.
Mine is that if you have limited time, you would actually get better results from relevant link exchanges than from social bookmarking, blog comment, forum comment, directory submit, article submit, etc...
find a good site that doesn't link out to anybody and give them a good reason why they should link to you.
If you are going to be hiring a freelancer, then you should get references. If someone starts to blast links to your new site, you could easily end up penalized for 3 months, 6 months, a year, two years, or two-and-a-half years (that's the longest I have heard of anybody being penalized - maybe some of the other posters on this forum know of people who have been penalized for longer than that).
Hope this helps.