Thanks for the feedback. I made this post to make a point that legitimate sites are getting slapped.
To go further into this particular client, he DOES have very very good links. But he has thousands and thousands of these link wheel links that I have instructed him to remove. He has made great progress and we have recovered him to all the way to the bottom of the 2nd page but it still is not bringing him much traffic.
The more link wheel links we remove, the more it recovers. He received an unatural link message in WMT right before penguin hit and we have submitted 3 reconsideration requests, all were shot down despite us providing google a list of thousands of domains to discount from the backlink profile.
We just keep removing links and he has not made much progress from the 2nd page but we are encouraged none the less.