I never really spent too much time backlinking through those terrible directories. I spent more time creating original content, and I'll continue to do so. For those who spent all that time backlinking through directories must regret the endless amount of time they have spent or amount of money, depending whether they did it manually or paid for a software to enter it for them.
Unfortunately there's no way in which Google should be allowed to punish those directory backlinkers except for just not counting those links. Because, if they did actually penalize people for bad backlinking practices, I'm about to go submit my competitors' websites to every terrible Directory there is, it'd help out my company for sure.