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I'm not knocking down your observation, I'm just asking.
Calculating on the fly the effect of ONE link is pretty easy. WE can even do it. Look at the PR of the page the link is on, look at the number of links, guestimate the PR. What is not so easy to do on the fly is calculate the effect of dozens or hundreds of links. Seeing one link for a PR5 page could make Google guestimate PR4, but if there are one hundred similar links, the page wil be PR5. Better not to guess than to guestimate based on incomplete data.