After a bit of feedback, Adam Lasnik of Google has written on the thread, where he emphasizes the importance of PageRank.
PageRank is an important signal and remains one of many effective measures of quality, but admittedly it's often viewed and used/abused in ways that run contrary to the interests of searchers and webmasters. Still, a lot of folks find the PR information useful; it provides a great incentive to try out our toolbar and explore its other features as well.
But more importantly, Adam solicits advice from the community to offer feedback on what they'd rather see instead:
Given that many of you aren't so fond of PR info in the toolbar, I'd love to know what feature you woudl like to see.
Mandatory criteria: - Would have to provide actionable info for webmasters - Would need to be useful and interesting for the ~99.9% of users who aren't webmasters
Of course, that just brings up the suggestion of providing up-to-date and accurate PageRank data -- all the time. I've even heard that at Search Engine Strategies conferences. This is what the webmasters want, and it should appeal to those who are not webmasters.
Other suggestions include a page quality indicator (as long as it's kept current).
The forum discussion is still ongoing and quite interesting. Check it out at WebmasterWorld.