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Nothing fancy or ingenious. I have just the bare link (normally pointing to an outside site) point to a completely blank internal page named "outside-link.htm". I have this page open in a new windown and the link points to the outside site. This way all I have to do is track the number of visits to that particular page and I can accurately infer the number of click thrus to the outside site.
If this explanation is not sufficient, sticky me and I'll send you my URL and you can see for yourself.