tedster - 6:50 am on Nov 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Nothing Google people have said has stopped me from linking out to useful sites, or quoting them for that matter. There's way too much overreaction to what people THINK Google is saying, when they are reading in things that just aren't true.
In fact, I'm pretty sure we're seeing fewer and fewer true penalties for "paid links." These days it seems more common for suspect links to simply be ignored by Google.
As others have often said, the web does not belong to Google, it really belongs to everyone. We should continue to act like it does. Fear, uncertainty and doubt are our responsibility, and ee don't need to base our actions on those dark places.
So I say market yourself well and attract those links. Even if they aren't trusted at Google, they can bring you real traffic and make you real online allies. And the odds are, those links WILL be trusted.