I dont think we should ever completely dismiss links. I think they are extremely useful. They tell google about new sites, they let google know who is talking about the site etc. I think it would be very beneficial to reduce the amount of power backlinks have. It should be less than 50%, right now I would say its at around 80% or even higher. I think what tedster mentioned in "who clicks on your site" can be extremely useful. If google knows who is a legit searcher and what sites they are finding useful, this can go a long way in telling google which websites actually help these people searching for such and such term.