Oh, don't get me wrong bwnbwn, I am not arguing neither for nor against Brand, in your case.
I think it's a valuable approach, what I am saying is that Brand should be just a tool in a toolbox, IF you want to get SE traffic. If you are not concerned with SE traffic - Brand is the way to go all the way, bar none.
I still use Brand, as a matter of fact I've been building a Brand site for a while, alongside 10 BH websites, however. In my niches, Brand does not work for Google ranking. All ranking has been, is and will be occupied by BH websites. Yes, there are Brands, but sadly they don't rank on Google. In my niches, BH is the king - all the usual techniques still work just fine, including silly things like hidden links. Collateral damage is aplenty, but competitors account for it with sheer numbers.
What I have seen, by reading this forum, is that people with Brands are most likely to bash Google. People who do BH sites already know well the risks and are far from shocked when Google bans one of their websites after an update.
I guess my point in a nutshell is that going for Brand only and still relying on SE traffic (which I assume is the point, since this post is in the Google SEO section), is at least playing with fire and suicide in most cases.