walkman - 5:38 am on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
MrFewkes, noticed this myself for over a year now but looks like Google has gone on another new link assessing spree lately. Some are saying that footer links, blogrolls type link etc are treated way differently from in content links, from links on on top etc. etc. To make matter worse, a lot of sites might not be passing PR due to a manual penalty and not know it.
That said, Google has made lots and lots of changes these few months so what we attribute to links might not have anything to do with them. It's also in Google's best interest to make site owners think that links are not worth chasing and so on. With SERPS changing very often and sites going up and down this makes it even harder to asses.
Looking at my referrals I have been getting a lot of referral spam, mostly linking to /user/profile12454 type pages with a link to a another site. Doesn't mean it's working, could be people thinking that this makes escape whatever penalty /demotion they have.