Back to the original subject
I have a link from a university website which is in the middle of a well-trafficked piece of learning material. The link to my site is both relevant and very helpful for users, it leads to a page that drives discussion on something I am an expert in and I can only think of one, perhaps two, sites that would serve that link equally well.
The pagerank boost from this single link is nice but I got it 8 years ago and the author of the material, now professor at the university, told me he entertains 5-6 requests per month for that link but none of the sites amount to more than MFA or quickie article. (he has been offered cash but cannot accept it).
That link should NOT be downgraded by Google just to make link competition fair. I should not be penalized for having spotted a good place for a link to one of my articles that many years ago.
Basically what I am saying is that if a site wants that link they will need to both deserve it and earn it and I don't make it easy, I put effort into my pages. I just don't feel sympathy for those who claim "unfair" because they cannot get it through begging or bribing... ya know? The BEST way to obtain a link is to create worthwhile material, it always will be.