I don't think anyone (Google included) has a problem with selling links; the problem is with selling links with the intention of gaming search engines. People don't run AdSense links to help the targets of those links get better rankings in search engines.
////OK, you can all do what you want with selling links, but then give us the freedom to down-rank you, too
The bottom line is Surfers search for RELEVANT SERPs – it does NOT make a site any less relevant for the query being search for whether their links are <no followed or Not.
Google is depriving the Searcher of immediate relevant results, why should the searcher:
1- look harder
2- be deprived of an answer or solution
I was going to blog this stuff but I will leave it alone, you my friend have summed it up perfectly Philipp!
Under your first bullet you said..."Google can be thought of as preposterous and arrogant...".
I wonder how long it would take to notice that (sarcasm here). It's not like when they first started this site.
Way back then you could read about anything but not now. Now, they only talk about themselves.
I guess they must know my late grandfather's favorite saying....
"He that tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooted."