Backlink Quality vs Quantity
Backlinks are one of several factors search engines use when determining your site's ranking. It may not be the single most important factor but a site without any backlinks will not return as high as a similar site with strong backlinks.
"Strong" backlinks are links to your site that are not only relevant to the content on your site but that come from sites that are themselves ranked highly on the key search terms related to your site's content. For example, if you have a site that sells widgets it would be great to have as many links back to your site from other sites that discuss, review or sell widgets. since you want quantity, you'll take links from Wally's Widget Blog and from a New York Times article about widgets that references your company but the NYT link will help rank your page higher than Wally's will.
My opinion would be to not waste your time trying to get huge quantities of weak backlinks and focus more on getting less, strong links. You can do this by writing articles and submitting them to sites like ezines.com or distributing online press releases, etc.