austtr - 7:50 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)
traffic was back to about 100% of pre-Panda
The OP asked "Are Penguin recoveries incremental?"
I wasn't aware of anyone claiming a Penguin recovery, incremental or otherwise.
I would dearly love to be proved wrong, but one of Penguin's legacies seems to be the removal of most small to medium affiliates from the playing field. I suspect that was not a coincidence and those sites/pages are never coming back.
If a website relates to an actual bricks and mortar business on Main Street, then it may have survived Penguin... it might even appear on page 1 in the Google Places 7 pack. But if your site makes money by selling someone else's products and services, then that may be why you were hit by Penguin. Google's apparent dislike of affiliate sites has been a subject of discussion dating back to at least 2011.
You have to ask yourself if you want to throw lots of time and effort into trying to bring about a Penguin recovery if in fact your real problem is your business model, not your website.