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Some products are full duplex in that they force linking without editorial discretion. Full duplex products are easy to spot because they will state "we guarantee links" or "we guarantee X pagerank" or "get X number of links in Y time frame" or something along those lines that may seem too good to be true.
Some seo bloggers recently published some new articles just this week that discussed how important editorial discretion is when making linking decisions.
If you decide to use a software to manage link building, just make sure it's editor based. There are a bunch out there.
Regarding your question on if the strategies are dead, full duplex linking is dead. It doesnt work. However linking between relevant sites in slow natural volume will always exist on the web (when editorial discretion is used). This kind of relevant linking will never go away because the wedding florist has good reason to link to the wedding photographer especially if they are both targeting customers in the same demographic market.