@mrguy, what was the reason behind the penalty? Did you get any reply to your re-inclusion request?
@Hoople From the two threads you quoted, later one is started by me. My 3 sites were penalized and re-consideration requests were denied saying that some pages still violate quality guidelines.
Recently google is sending clear notification and the guys who have got penalty due to backlinks are getting notification that "unnatural links pointing to your site".... This is not the case with me. I get notification that "some or all pages still violate quality guidelines". I believe this penalty is related to content.
It is a confirmed manual penalty. Reconsideration request response was "some pages still violate quality guidelines".
I believe content is the cause in my case. My content was not duplicate but over the time lots of sites copied it. I'm working on rewriting everything and improving things a lot! Just afraid of mysterious google!