aristotle - 2:20 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
I don't see how anyone can have a "full" recovery from Penguin by removing backlinks, because their removal most likely has reduced the amount of "pagerank juice" coming into your site. Since this lost "pagerank juice" had previously pushed up your rankings, but is now no longer doing so, your rankings and traffic shouldn't be expected to return to their previous level.
In fact, even if you don't remove any backlinks, Penguin most likely devalued them anyway, so you have still lost a lot of pagerank juice that they previously provided. So even in this case your rankings and traffic probably won't to return to their previous level.
Of course you might be able to replace the lost pagerank juice by acquiring new natural-looking backlinks with the same power. But that's probably the only way to make a "full" recovery.