Agent_x, maybe, but my link building was pretty conservative. I only work with media sites and authority sites and do it the old fashioned way -- with networking. I write for many known media sites in my niche and have columns with them. I doubt that is the problem. I am simply highly networked through my Pandalized site and I have a recognizable brand. I can very easily defend it face to face. The issues are more to do with monetization, I believe. The space I work in is extremely competitive and so Google is probably citing what I'd call the recognizable "middle class names" in this niche. I am thinking they are holding such sites to a different standard (and have higher expectations) than others in the same niche that are not monetizing in the same way.
Which begs the question: can different sites in the same niche be held under different standards based on certain parameters? For example if you are classified as a "review site" by Google, while another site in the niche is not, then the standards for your "review site" are much higher.