Shatner - 5:56 am on Oct 2, 2011 (gmt 0)
From my observation on the KWs I follow, its seems that on the 26-27 Panda/penalized sites were let back in and then on the 28th the hammer dropped and for 15 on my terms 40-50%(long tails) of the top 100 results were removed.
Incorrect. My site was pandalized at almost exactly noon PST on the 27th, according to all my stats, the Google traffic immediately fell 50% at that exact moment. Someone flipped the switch then.
This does not explain why you think an update is coming soon. All past data indicates that Google NEVER runs a Panda update more often than every 3 weeks. So at BEST it's 3 weeks before there is another update... and maybe more... and even if there is an update history shows that at least 50% of the updates don't seem to have any actual, significant effect.
Somehow everything is tied up to % content x pages x ads x authority and not backlinks, but backlinks at the same time are the main driving force.
Proof? I've been following this non-stop since February and I've yet to see any hard evidence to support this assertion.
Certainly not enough to justify your seemingly hard conclusions.
In my case, my site meets all of the metrics you used (and yes I've had 3rd parties confirm this, so this isn't just my unobjective view) and it hasn't made any difference. I even ran a couple of months without any ads at all, and after a couple of Panda runs left me pandalized gave up on that as well.
In my view all the talk about quality content is really a big sack of CRAP.
That's one thing which I think has been proved. Quality content is at best, one small component... and even if you have quality content you can still be pandalized.