Simsi - 10:51 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
...can't see a better replacement
I think that's a key statement. When a better replacement comes along I think links will devalue further. I think they will always play some part even if it's an ever dimishing role but any SEO factor that can be gamed has to be a target for the SE's to shoot at.
Actually there is a replacement - it's just not practical. A manual review :-)