I've just read another article on link building from the guys at Wordtracker. It's an interview with Eric Ward, the daddy of the link experts.
I've banged on about linking quite a lot on this forum looking at both how to do it and some of the dreadful link profiles that many sites have. It's fair to say I get very frustrated at the kind of link profiles that give some sites good rankings.
However, let's set that aside. In a nutshell what Eric is saying, in my humble opinion, is that to attract good links you need good content. As you create good content think about the kind of web pages whose readers would value a link to your content.
Let's say you run a dive holiday business. Your website could simply tell people how wonderful your company is, provide details of the dive sites at your disposal and perhaps a few testimonials by satisfied customers. There's not really going to be much their that would make other website owners link to you.
But let's say your site becomes much more than that. What if your site became a real mine of information about diving in your region. Details of wrecks, details of ambient water temperatures, details of 'stuff' that interests divers.
Now your site becomes a definite link target. Perhaps you could talk to makers of dive equipment, dive clubs, dive associations etc. Now you have something worth linking to.
Link building is about more than just blog/forum commenting and spamming directories. It's about thinking about link building as adding value to the web-o-sphere. As Eric repeatedly says, links worth having are NOT easy to secure, and nether should they be.