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What they are looking for is HIGH volume LOW quality.
We have run control tests on directories alone - free directories - and have found negative rankings as opposed to positive rankings.
When you say "alone" do you mean if a site's backlinks include ONLY directories and no quality links?
If it is a general directory, but has a relevant category, would that be ok?
So, while the toolbar PR may inflate, their outbound 'link juice' is lost at the same rate. Meaning your link has a much lower value.
I'd spend time looking for authorative and specfic directories if I were you.
There are scant few specific "directories" in my niche.
My point is to get creative in how you look for them. Most definately a 'think outside the box' type of search. Combining 'add url', 'submit url', 'add site', 'submit site' or 'submit website' with your keywords in searching might be productive too.
Standalone directories are dead
Google just recently shut their directory