wheel - 4:01 pm on May 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
How's that for an example to ponder?
I'm no expert, but I'd suggest that you're confirming what others are also suggesting; that the recent update had a lot to do with onpage factors, overriding/in spite of strong backlink profiles.
Which makes sense if Google wanted to take down some big players with strong backlink profiles.
No idea past there. I'm generally tapped out on onpage factors once I've got my title tag done.