Yes, you need to get backlinks. But not to increase PR, just to increase backlinks (and more so, the words in the backlinks).
Yes,. as I said, you need to do it properly,..
BUT if all that work doesn't give you enough PR,.. You won't rank in the top10.
Show me an example of a PR4 page that ranks in the top10 for a very competitive phrase
in between 9 other pages with PR's of 6 and higher. I doubt you will find an example.
I'm sure Peter would agree with me that backlinks from thematically-similar pages, and backlinks using descriptive anchor text are going to help rankings a great deal, even if they're coming from pages which are not going to significantly affect PR.
Yes I agree 100%. PageRank is a condition, not a means. You need to do link building right to benefit from it. As I said before, the high PR won't get you a high ranking, but without the high PR it's impossible to rank high for very competitive phrases.
I know I am going against a lot of people's religion, but if you read what I am saying correctly you will notice that what I am saying is not that far from what you believe.
Most of you try to prevent people from focusing too much on pagerank and you are right. What started this whole discussion was me saying that for very competitive phrases
you need a high PR. Almost everybody replied saying I was wrong, but forgot about this little condition I set: "for very competitive phrases"
. Without this condition I agree with all of you, but with this condition I stick to what I said: You need high PR.
Obviously, 1 backlink from a PR 10 page will give you a high PR, but not high rankings,.. that would be a bad example of link building.