I've encountered this question very often lately. This question is been discuss in some webmaster forums. And I just thought I could write about my thoughts on this question.
I used to believe that PageRank (PR) plays very important factor in Google Search Engine Result Page(SERP) . That's why whenever I'm exchanging links with some webmasters/SEO I always look at their site's PR. I'm not the only one looking at this thing though. Some of my colleagues and some members of the forums I've joined was always concern with PR.
Pagerank is been misunderstood by many. They always thought that PageRank is one of the factor why some sites are ranking high in SERP. This is absolutely a myth. Pagerank is definitely not directly related to your sites rankings in SERP.
Lets discuss also why people always looking for higher PR site in link exchange?
Most of the people thought that higher the PR, the chances on getting on top of the SERP is big. But definitely this is not true. PageRank is not related to SERP. SERP is based on many factors but the biggest part of this factors is your content and sites that linking back to you.
PageRank should be consider only in link exchange as a trust rank. It means that if the site is running for quite a long time i.e. 1 year and the site is PR0 then it means the owner of the site is not serious on his site and don't provide information that is worth reading for.
So is Pagerank a factor on SERP? Definitely not. PR is for trust rank, original quality content is the key to get you up there in SERP. Do your homework now and try to build quality content so that visitor of your site will link to you rather than looking for higher PR site to link to.