So as an alternative to Recursive scp without following links or creating a giant tar file? (this could be an emergency since the remote files could be deleted any time soon), I'm thinking of deleting all my symbolic links. But then I would like to batch-export them all somewhere so that I can restore them once I'm done with the scp file copying.
You could make a tar archive containing the symbolic links only. Assuming GNU utilities (so non-embedded Linux or Cygwin):
Another approach is to generate a shell script that would recreate the symlinks. Here's a Perl approach (while this is doable with only POSIX utilities, it's difficult to handle special characters correctly).
Don't remove the symbolic links. Exclude them from the copy, or make a symlink-less copy of the directory tree, as illustrated in my answer to your other question.