tedster - 9:34 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
While I haven't run a stand-alone test for this idea, I do analyze backlinks for maybe several thousand sites over a year's time. I see this principle in action over and over again - it's the context of the linking page that best sends "theme" juice to the link target, and yes,that includes the Title element of the linking page quite naturally, as well as nearby text on that page.
Anchor text on its own is still helpful, most certainly, but only up to a point. Where that point is exactly is hard to say, but too much "keyword keyword" anchor text is a dead giveaway after a while that the link is not exactly a "freely given editorial citation" for the cite.