I know sites that have stronger "level 2" pages than their "home pages" as well. But this is because in a sense these are the most important pages, and will have external links pointing at them, as well as structure below them that denotes their importance in the site. Often these inbound links are deliberately targeted at these pages.
On the subject of outbound links losing PR, I would like to add that this doesn't mean necessarily losing positions. Linking out to important related sites is a strong strategy in Google. Lots of sites do well as they are seen as useful resources to users, pointing the user at other sites related to their search, but conecting these links to their own content.
What do I mean by this? I mean that linking out reinforces your relevance to the search if it is on target and especially if it is to an important resource, and so boosts your results, even if in theory it loses PR
Think about this - Google wants you to link out, otherwise its whole algorythm would crumble. It won't punish youunless you link out to unrelated rubbish
PR is only one part of the equation.