Simsi - 2:31 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
The theory ties in with the "infrastructure" update a few months back where it was speculated that the changes were to facilitate exactly what this thread is talking about.
I don't think they quite have it right yet but if it's the first steps towards it then it's a sensible and astute move. Anything that takes away factors that can be gamed (ie: link exchanges/buying etc) and moves towards ranking based on how people behave and react to what they find makes perfect sense for the SERPS and should help improve website quality over time.
Fingers crossed you are on the money Brett.