There is a thought in the world of SEO that the most important links are your first ones. Although I can (or can anyone) not prove it either way I also agree the first 100 links to a new site must be completely white hat (within Googles guidelines) or it might hurt your site for many months (possibly forever!).
Here are some of my thoughts on this subject:
We know Google employs lots of people around the world purely to check websites are within their guidelines and if the site should receive some type of penalty or not. I doubt they ask these people to re-assess sites very often as I would imagine they will always have a lot of sites to check. I would think Mr Google when checking new websites would have some sort of scoring system to use (or form or something like that). I would also think a large percentage of the websites on their list will be newish sites (probably more than a year old though I would think).
You have probably all heard of the Penguin update by now and how it can affect your websites ranking positions, if not I suggest you read up on it as it’s very important.
Obviously Google doesn’t rely on humans to check links to websites, it has Googlebot to do that for them and their powerful algorithm.
Google also know how to spot a bad link (black hat) pretty well too.
Although you should do this all the time, creating good quality links (preferably naturally) is very important, but at the start of a new websites life, it couldn’t be more important!
I look forward to any comments about the subject below.