I've just built a new site and switched to a new domain. The previous domain had good SEO performance and had hundreds of quality backlinks - I set up a 301 redirect for any requests to the old domain name, and I assumed that the new domain would inherit the previous domain's backlinks. It's still early days yet but am I right in thinking this? If i check yahoo site explorer or google's webmaster tools, i don't see any of the backlinks including those which pointed to the old domain.
With Google 301 redirects do "transfer" links over to the new domain but there is a dampening factor so you won't get the full value of those links.
It's also unclear of these links will be reported in Webmaster Tools since they do not actually point to your new domain. It's always a good idea to attempt to get the websites that link to you to update their link with the new URL is possible.