I would not suggest anyone goes 100% whitehat or 100% blackhat. Following extreme business practice is rarely a good idea. I do think that going with whiter techniques (think of a light grey hat) is generally more profitable in the long term. The more value and quality you provide the better you will be. Shortcuts rarely add long term value.
If you are creative enough you can come up with ways to generate more links than you were old blackhat budget could afford to buy. I'm not saying its easy but it is possible. For example look around at what online tools people are paying to use in your industry and then replicate it (or provide a better alternative) on your site and allow them to use it for free. This will generate a large amount of organic backlinks to your new tool page. With enough creativity and hard work it is possible to rank well and by following fewer black hat shortcuts you are more likely to survive longer. If you go too extreme with white hat you might end up with never building enough ranking power and thats not good.