I am a places outsource guy for other consultants, so...I would only agree to an extent with you, Bob my friend (nice to meet you).
It is not always possible to get reviews especially when you have or you are working with a new business. For instance, consider my listing for lead generation in Harrisburg. You can see my map for the following listings:
sales lead generation Harrisburg (put the PA on if you like but you don't have to)
lead generation Harrisburg
Business Leads Harrisburg
Sales Leads Harrisburg
You can look at any combination of leads, business leads, sales lead generation or anything else; there were no reviews to speak of and you will find my map there. However, that said, what happens when there are reviews or if they show up after the fact?
Take a look at this:
Reviews are outranked
That is why you have to go after ALL of those other relevant factors, at the start.
There are ways to outrank those with lots of reviews using total white hat methods, if you keep relevance in mind and do everything that Google both tells you to do and allows you to do.