BradleyT - 5:40 pm on May 18, 2010 (gmt 0)
If you have access to a tool that analyzes backlinks and you pick any random top 5 listings in the SERPS you'll see a very wide variety of backlinks. There usually only ends up being a handful of exact match anchor text rich backlinks and many other links including images, click here, the full URL, the company name, no-follows, etc...
In my opinion that indicates that a natural linking pattern is pretty diverse and varied. But the question is - is an unnatural linking pattern detectable and will it penalize or filter out your site?
If given a choice I would probably always go for the exact phrase the page is targetting.