Sadly, the link spammers appear to be doing fine.
What google pr people say, and what the algo/manual adjustments actually do are two completely different things.
It's not hard to find sites ranking that have worthless/scraped content yet tons of spammy links. Just a few weeks ago I was trying to buy something and the #1 top site that google returned was a virus/spyware laden spamfest. I wanted to post the query here in another thread but the admin doesn't allow examples of terrible search results.
I realize it's an extremely hard job to sort out all the sites and return only the quality results. This is understandable, but the endless pr propaganda gets old.
If they want to "say" something, the best and most effective method would be to say it with the actual search results. Empirical evidence means a lot more than words, no matter how many times they repeat them.