I have been known to make stupid posts... but this has been eating me for a while - how do we know (like suggested in many PageRank conversations within this site) that PR is almost meaningless and not used in rankings?
My point being, if you search any keyword and the #1 spot has a PR3 yet the #22 spot has a PR6. It doesn't mean a thing. However that does not mean PageRank is useless either. Even now after the current PR update a site may still be ahead of the others for several reasons with a lower PR.
1) The site simply has better content/SEO.
2) It aquired links within the past month which Google took into consideration.
I do agree on some levels that the toolbar PR is useless, but it is also a nice look at where you are or atleast were.
So all in all my point is that none of us can positively say that PR is useless. Perhaps Google lowered the importance of PageRank, but I highly doubt they totally abandoned it. Or maybe since they are updating it every 3-4 months it still means the exact same thing as it did a year or two ago, just you aren't seeing what the new links are giving the sites.