Debate continues on whether reciprocal links are devalued or not. While I certainly do not believe they are actually penalized, they may not count as much as one way links. A recent strategy to counteract this is to use triangular linking. This means you would need to have 2 sites in order to arrange for a link exchange. You place a link to a link partner (site C) on your site A. You request the link partner to then place a link on his site to your site B. No links are directly reciprocal, so all are one way links.