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Turns out that the PR change was cosmetic. No PR shows, but my site still passes juice according to a couple of tests done by some pretty bright people.
So, while I like more traffic, I really don't wish to be beholding to Google for it unless they back off on some of their heavy-handed, control-freak "guidelines" for webmasters.
They have too much control and now have decided which pages to display under my search results (four of them, and only 1 is one that I would have chosen).
Now, if they want to give the webmaster control over what's s displayed, that's another story. Meanwhile, I am very wary of anything they do, per past experiences.
Edit: before anyone asks, I did remove the paid posts from my blog and did a reinclusion request over a month ago. No response.