Thank you, Atomic, I think that's a very important counter-point.
Whatever is going on with the re-coding that flicky did, the experience of an extended period of lowered rankings is not at all a common report. If a ranking drop was the common experience, all the forums would be lit up with complaints, all over the internet. So I suggest that others not overreact or feel total paralysis about making positive changes across their site.
Something has gone wrong in flicky's case. It's hard to say whether it's something about the site itself that is so far undetected, or some crazy bug on Google's side.