The question as to what is PageRank's real value comes up at the forums constantly. In order to drop a link to a forum, I'll choose the Search Engine Watch Forums. So what is the real value of PageRank?
PageRank is part of Google's search ranking algorithm. So having a high PageRank does have an affect on your rankings. But what is the actual weight of PageRank in the algorithm is locked up and secured at Google HQ. It would be safe to say that if two sites are completely equal, that the one with a higher PageRank would out rank the one with less of a PageRank.
What other values does PageRank have? There is a strong emotional pride in having a high PageRank. I know that when SEO Chat rose to a PageRank 8, all the members and even the owners were extremely proud of this accomplishment. Its a status symbol as the thread above mentioned.
Also mentioned in the thread is that having a high PageRank helps link traders trade links. In my opinion, trading based on PageRank is old school link trading. Many link traders do not allow PageRank to determine the value of a link. Many now look at the number of links and if those pages actually pass link equity (there are many that do not).
PageRank has a minimal affect on ranking. People now look at PageRank as more of a status symbol like they would for one's Alexa rankings. And Link traders are placing less value on PageRank figures when determining an equitable link trade.