Nacho over at the Search Engine Watch forums named What is the Value in Links - OLD vs. NEW? In this thread lots of members discuss the topic. This is a popular subject over at SEW, there were a few threads on the topic of the value of links in the past, including a Temporal Link Analysis thread. The thread is worth looking at.
In my opinion, links should be treated differently. That is the major challenge facing many of the engines today. Many proposals are being developed to come up with a universal form of methods to mark a page for link popularity purposes. In my opinion, and very quickly, links should be looked at based on the several factors. Time value of the link based on what page is linking to you. A hub link should be treated highly and more highly if its older. An authority link should be treated differently based on the age of the link (buzz news links versus solid authoritative links).