Linking is not out. It has only changed a tiny bit. It used to be that one could just buy thousands of links and their ranks would be seen on the climb. It is slight different now, as we all know. You now have to earn them. Here is link to Searchengineland.com where they list their top twenty-five articles about linking. (Do you like how I did that?)
Take a look at these articles if you are fresh out of ideas on how to gain links without getting penalized. Enjoy!