Planet13 - 8:44 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
"Has anyone else had that reaction from a link takedown outreach?"
Not a direct answer, but PRIOR to Penguin 1 I took off a whole bunch of freely given links off my site in order to avoid PANDA (not Penguin).
I thought that a "links to friends" page would simply become Panda fodder, so I removed it.
Also, it was getting too hard to maintain. I linked to a lot of small, non-profit organizations that would sometimes cease to exist. And when they did, their domains were usually taken over by some sort of nefarious organization. so I was inadvertently linking to a couple of bad sites.