@Whitey, my concern was never with my pages not ranking against the big players. I know I can't compete with them (although I often do). My concern was what I stated above - I had the ONLY page on a topic, but when I searched for that topic I was, at best, #11, and the top 10 results were not even related to that topic.
I'm open to the idea that I was penalized for thin content - but why specifically on Penguin day rather than on Panda day?
@fathom, I don't get why you are adamant that my penalty was not due to Penguin, but you then you say this:
It's important to note PENGUIN 4 will be coming out and if you haven't made substantial improvements to your domain (in generally) you can easily be back to the problems of last year.
There could be some merit in this theory, that Penguin somehow takes away your "get out of jail free" card that protects thin pages on larger authority sites from Panda, but that ignores the idea that Penguin is supposed to be primarily about backlinks and webspam and JohnMu said that I had no such issues.