I keep reading that the Penguin update is NOT a manual penalty and therefore a "reconsideration request" cannot be submitted...
However this update was preceded by several hundred thousand messages in Webmaster tools messages to webmasters that DO suggest a reconsideration request and even show a link to that page.
So, on the one hand a message that says "unnatural links" and you CAN submit reconsider... and within a few days Penguin update that focuses one area on "spam links".
So, have there been primarily two types of webmasters that have been hit? 1) "Unnatural links" message + Penguin and 2) No message but a significant drop in rankings due to Penguin?
The question is that IF you have been hit by the Penguin can just removing unnatural links enable a rise 'back to normal' for rankings.. and/or IF you have an unnatural links message then a reconsideration request is the only way to regain rankings.