Content_ed - 12:18 am on Mar 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
What you state about competition hasn't been my experience. I suspect we are using the term "content" to mean different things. The simplest web page I ever composed would have taken a few hours, most have taken several days, a few have taken weeks, though that may be spread out over years with updates.
It has often taken many months for good content to rise to the top, but that rise has always been inevitable (if there was interest in the subject), driven by quality organic links. Exactly how Google has broken itself to discount those qualities is beyond me, but I would term it a mistake.