I think we can say that Google Pagerank is really dead. A couple of years ago you could hear everybody talk about Pagerank. There were tools, checkers, and rankers. It was in the Google toolbar. But it is hardly mentioned anymore. See this graph of Google Insights:
You can see that PageRank had its peak in 2007. Then the monarch collapsed. The new emperor on the block is Authority. Authority is what you get when you are sharing good content, are active in your field, share on social media, share on your blog and just create great content. Because PageRank is largely based on links from other sites and Authority is largely based on good content. Linkbuilding as a separate manual activity is like the Kings Prompter. But you know? In 2012 the King needs to stand on his own feet. He needs to speak out what he thinks, be honest, give a good opinion without a prompter. This will give him authority and that will be rewarded with a larger audience.
The job of an SEO will change enormously. Based on a technical sound foundation (you know, in the past, when we would check a site with a Lynx Browser and already had a ton of value?), based on functional flexibility (H1’s and that stuff), you need strategic thought, creativity, social skills to make it in 2012. And manual link Building? Come on.