If you have ever wondered about the value of linkbait, this article will be of great interest to you.  As we all know the only object of link bait is to attract links and if it fails to do so, it fails its SEO objective.  This article researches the data of some major link bait articles and quantifies the total amount of external links that have been naturally acquired by them.  15 top articles from blogs and sites such as Mashable, ProBlogger and SEOmoz are included in the mix and the results may surprise you.
You can learn to use the same tools yourself to look at other link bait articles you find and this may give you some insight into the types of articles that work.