Ok, the poll from yesterday has received 71 votes so far, which isn't a lot, but I still wanted to just throw some thoughts out there about the results anyway. In my opinion, the first two options, still buy them at the same price as before and still buy them, but pay a little less for them both reflect a situation where you could basically say that nothing much would change in the scenario where all text link ads suddenly no longer passed any value. All of the other options would represent a major shift, again, in my opinion. So, I've grouped the first two options together and grouped the last three options together to determine the outcome. It comes out to this: about 1/3 would continue on pretty much as usual, and 2/3 would make drastic changes (either by paying much less, buying them only rarely, or not buying at all). Two-thirds of the current buyers dramatically reducing their ad buys would affect things pretty drastically, I would think.
On the other hand, if this PR blow is simply a warning, and the next shot hurts more (by banning buyers and/or sellers), how dramatically would that cut into the buyer's plans?
Now here's another "what if" scenario. What if all of the text link brokers got together and agreed to all move to "condom-ized" links at the same time. If all the major brokers did it, then none would have a greater advantage or disadvantage over the other.
Certainly Google would be happy. Buyers wouldn't be, but sellers might, as it would even the playing field, and sellers wouldn't have to make an either/or choice. They could go on selling knowing that they aren't going to be punished. Buyers would just have to accept the fact that they could now only buy condom-ized links from brokers. (This of course doesn't affect private transactions). Brokers would likely take a cut in activity, but may be able to save their businesses nevertheless.
I don't know if any of that even makes any sense, but I just thought I'd throw those things out there for discussion.