@purplekitty, I'd love to know the result of your experiment! If Google IS just punishing people for linking the way the web was designed for, maybe a whole lotta people will decide they're just done with Google.
@ColourOfSpring, that's real marketing, and that's why you're going to make it. Right now, we're in a very strange situation with Google being so dominant. Imagine if back in the 60s, the only way to get serious traffic was to get mentioned in some big newspaper. Those who got mentioned would think this system was just awesome and they didn't need anything else, and those who didn't would feel desperate. And those who used to get mentioned and suddenly didn't anymore would feel penalized. I don't think marketers have ever faced a situation quite as odd as Google controlling so much of the market.
But all the same, if you are a real marketer, you look to your visitors to tell you when your sites need improving, not Google or any other free traffic source.