SEOmoz's brand new Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2 report is interesting, there's no doubt about that. Any time you get 34 well-known SEOs together to score various SEO tactics, you're going to end up with an interesting report. And while such a report can be highly useful to newbies especially, it is precisely the newbies who need to be careful. Newbies: Don't take the results of this survey as absolute fact.
I was a survey participant, so I can tell you what my experience with it was. Every tactic was to be rated in terms of its level of importance, and each tactic had a textbox where comments could be added in addition to the rating itself. So many of the tactics really needed clarification in the comments section, but most of it would have been redundant. In other words, if I had added comments to most of the tactics, that comment would likely have read, "It depends on....".
For that reason, a lot of my answers tended to be rated as "Somewhat Important", because the importance of the tactic so often depended upon something else. It might not be important at all for some sites in some situations, but it might be extremely important for other sites in other situations. Each "situation" could be vastly different, and it would have taken a book to fully comment on each possibility.
So while the report is very interesting, I caution newbies especially to take all the possible "what if conditions" into account. It's not all black and white. Many factors influence other factors, and in turn, many factors depend upon other factors. Isolating each factor and placing each in a vacuum is problematic, and may even be misleading.
And that is another very good reason why people who claim SEO is not rocket science are partially correct, and partially incorrect. It all depends... 🙂