That's good of you to mention Webmasterworld.com. I'm there just about every day! I go by "Hungry4seo". I pretty much rely on the forum here at Total Choice and also their forum. I've been working my tail off to get my site overhauled, and at the same time, I've been trying to absorb as much as I can from the forums and other articles.
I thought of you lastnight because it looks like all of my PR mysteriously disappeared! I had a PR3 on my index (not so great), but now it's showing a grey bar. It made me think of your statement where you said that Google is broken. I hope that's the case. I have about 35 reciprocal links right now, and I doubt that they all fell off the earth all at once. I'm not sweating it though because I'll be republishing the site within another week or two.
The thing that gets me excited, is that I was able to get (some) traffic (about 1000 unique visitors per month), and I was able to make a few sales per month, and my site's pages were optimized TOTALLY wrong! I wasn't even dedicating search terms to specific pages! I have an SEO friend from the UK. that helped me pull my head out of my butt, and made me realize that the pages had to built around the search terms.
I'm real excited to see what the results will be.. Take care, thanks, Matty