I wrote: For anyone that had their site banned, did anyone have LESS than 1000 link partners (either reciprocal or not)
What I meant by 1K link partners is 1000 Outgoing Links (link partners, hand picked links, directory, whatever) Every site in MY dataset that got banned has >1000 Outgoing Links.
As far as Google is concerned the amount of links in most aspects is not the problem (Except stepping over time frames in adding them).
You could have 100 links from a link farm and be banned just as easily as if you had 10,000 links from link farms.
I doubt links FROM a link farm could hurt you. However, if you link TO a link farm or bad neighborhood, you could be hurt.
You only control who YOU link to. So similar to a scraper, if you link TO 1000s of sites from different pages, Google could THINK you are a scraper, even though you are not. Throw in some adsense on those pages and it's even harder to distinguish.