Ok, this is amusing. First, I ran across PR Opinions trying to explain this post by Steve Rubel, where Rubel says, more or less: "I can't possibly read all the email I get asking for links. Link to something I read, and I'll see it". PR Opinions thought that smelled of attitude, and these guys are positively put out by the whole thing.
Hmm. I've been doing this since 2002 - so I'm no "johnny come lately" to the party, but I'm also not one of the real early adopters. I've never sent anyone an email asking them to link to something I've written. Oh sure, I've written plenty of posts where I purposely linked to someone in hopes that an "ego search" would turn my post up and get a link, but that's not really the same thing.
Now, I don't have nearly the traffic of some of the "A-Listers" - mine seems to vary between about 8000 and 15,000 pageviews a day (meaning, total grabs of the HTML page). It's actually pretty hard to gauge real readership now - I can see the HTML hits, and the requests for the RSS feed, sure. Then there's Artima, where my posts are mirrored (I registered for that back in 2002). Then there's BlogLines, NewsGator Online (etc, etc - there are tons of online services). All that said, I'm sure that I get fewer email requests for links that Rubel or Scoble do (I wouldn't call what I do get overwhelming by any stretch).
No, I built my traffic up the hard way - I just keep at it, hoping that my rants will be of interest to someone :) Now, I do get a lot of email in general, and I subscribe to tons of content - so I understand the general "overwhelmed" complaint. What I don't really understand is why other people can't. If you're a well known PR guy, and it's known that lots of people read you - then it seems clear to me that you would get pitched a lot. At some point, that's going to be overwhelming - call in radio shows have screeners for a reason.