I just started up a new EMD site. I did about 2 hours of manual white hat stuff to get it kicked off. Then just as I'm about to fire up my SEO tools and start mass creating my Tier 1s and Tier 2s... I check G and I'm at #4. The site is only 2 days old. Already getting some traffic and making a lil revenue. Now if I was to BH this site, I might get to #1 very fast but would risk a big penalty. Even if my site dances (I've retained and improved initial rankings before, but you need to act fast because the "new site bump" is short), I will be at #1 within the month with just easy white hat stuff. If I get a few guest posts, I'll have it locked up. Just some advice: Start off white hat, if that doesn't get you to where you want to be, grey hat it up, and then just keep getting blacker and blacker. If that doesn't work, on to the next one. There are still BH sites clearly ranking, but lots are getting picked off, and more will in the future. There is a lot of spots open right now with crappy top 10 comp, because the previous top 10 is penalized. All you need is a little WH in a lot of these niches, combined with good onsite. Don't start off with BH unless it's an in-and-out operation, like a replica site or movie site.