I am new to blogging (a few months) and I was one of those that did ask permission to link people. (I guess I just wanted to make sure those people did not get upset because my blog was not "up to par" or something. When I asked permission, I gave my address and that way the person could check me out first. Every response I got back was positive...and people were thrilled to be linked. I too think of it as an honor, but I also know that I don't always think like everyone else. This is an excellent question!