Matt Cutts in his latest webmaster video says:
“The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.”
There is a fairly good discussion going on at http://searchengineland.com/google-pagerank-dilution-through-a-301-redirect-is-a-myth-149656
I think we consider a 301 redirect only when we have moved the URL permanently or when we want to sort out duplicate content issues.
Hence, we should consider the purpose of using a 301 server side redirect or meta refresh client side redirect or use a normal link depending on the purpose and not on the basis of how much PageRank will get dissipated.Its high time we came out of the PageRank syndrome.