As usual, Rustybrick (Search Engine Roundtable) is giving us all his wonderful reports of what is happening at PubCon. These are not to be missed. Just to tease you, below are some interesting tidbits from Matt Cutts.
There are some things in the algorithm that may be perceived as a sandbox that doesn't apply to all industries. He knows it works to keep some spam out.
Regarding affiliate sites being considered spam or not, He said that they think of spam as what is the value add of this site. He explained how some sites make unique tools that make a value add. Just slapping up content from a feed, doesnt do it. Reviews, etc. need it.