1script - 9:02 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
A drop by about 10 positions (from page 1 to page 2) looks to me like something Google would never waste actual human resources on. I know it's a contentious debate on what constitutes a "penalty" as such. The effect of being pushed off the first page sure does feel like a penalty, but if you are talking about something that's really manual (i.e. the bot triggered a flag, then a human came around to review) I would think that the results of that would be really devastating to your positions if you did not pass.
You are talking complete ban (nothing indexed) or a state of a "google limbo" so to speak - you are in the index but all your results are almost entirely suppressed and appear either one the last page (990+) or on the pre-penalty position on page 1 or 2 but in a very limited amount of queries (I've seen that - can't figure out why they do it though).
For anything less drastic than that a reconsideration request is almost a sure waste of your time - you're probably going to get an automated reply saying that there was no manual penalty anyway.