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And then, you can do the double whammy...
<a href="" title=""><img src="" alt=""><br />
In the above example I've used the title attribute on the a href for usability. I've got my alt attribute on my linked image. And then I have my anchor text. ;)
P.S. You can do all sorts of neat things with images and text links using CSS. Floats, padding, borders, etc.
Like P1R says, you can still optimize even the image link. And any link that passes you juice from a relevant site is better than NO link at all.
[edited by: ZydoSEO at 2:44 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]