Brinked were you hit at one point? I swear I remember seeing you on a such thread and then you came back.
Penalty or not there is still a question of how often is the algo run, was it run (fully?) post-Panda, etc etc. Some have come back but we don't know why, some that gained have lost in April...so until we find out not much is going to help us. Probably gave us a grade and we're stuck with it until the next 'test.'
Many 'quality sites' that gained from 2/24 were mauled by Panda 2.0-2.1 so quality is a living breathing thing, depending on what Google decides today. So it's a lot more complicated and Google is changing as we speak. It's my opinion that Google still has not re-run a full algo for the 2/24 crowd but maybe some benefited or got screwed by further adjustments. So before the change, keeping in mind the not changed Panda score you'd be at #12 now you can be #10 or #14 based on non-Panda factors.
Penalty or not this almost reminds me of a link penalty: Where you lost all your trust and all your pages were pulled down by that. And if you had a lot of trust you could rank even with two sentences.
Whatson: the difference is that PR is now calculated on the fly internally and only shown externally every quarter or so. By the time it's shown it's already calculated in the SERPS