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What strategy are you using (and has it worked for you)?
A) Damn The Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead: Get as many links as you can, as fast as you can, from any site, any way you can get 'em.
B) Slow and Steady Wins the Race: get limited amounts of incoming links, just a few a week, or a few a month.
C) The Neighborhood Guy: Only get links from themed sites and themed pages, limited recips okay - but only from on-topic sites.
D) The Mathematician: Get 10 links the first month, 20 links the second month, 40 links the 3rd month....
E) Onesy-Twosy: Just get a single link from a PR 5+ page, just to get the bots visiting.
F) Build it and they will come.
G) None of the above.
Google still uses a linked based algo so you cannot do without them.
I get links for lots for sites, but it is mostly a lot of links for two or three sites, then a lot of links for two or three other sites, then a lot of links for yet another two or three sites. Several sites will sit quietly with hardly any new links at all for several weeks, until I cycle back to them.
This is more a link-monkey/software management issue than it is a lack of proper disciplining as a child, though my mother may offer a different opinion.
I think in cmopetitive areas that you need big IBL numbers to rank. So I can try to get around this by getting small volumes of links over 6-9 months, or I can spend the same 6-9 months getting as many links as I can so when the site surfaces it's ready to compete. I haven't done enough sites yet to be sandboxed though. I just see this as the approach that makes the most sense. Plus, I always develop one way inbound link traffic from relevant sites - so in the meantime I'm ranking in the other two engines and getting some trickle traffic from the sites who are linking to me. Not much, but almost enough to pay for the SEO.