I have been noticing this over the past few years, SEO alone isnít enough anymore as mentioned there was a time when a well SEO page would be a given, but these days were not so lucky. Iíve all but given up on link building unless I can influence it naturally.
The Social phenomenon has a lot to do with it, recently I got in touch with a social site and put my product in front of 5000+ prequalified readers. Nothing I could do SEO wise could beat that.
I spend little time on traditional SEO these days, i still think well written optimized content, proper meta tags, alt tags etc go a long way but itís just a part of my good practice thoughts.
Traditional SEO has just become a part of a greater Marketing strategy.