Without being necessary to pack multiple antennas per terminal, cooperation among distributed single-antenna nodes offers resilience to shadowing and can, in principle, enhance the performance of wireless communication networks by exploiting the available space diversity. Enabling the latter however, calls for practically implementable protocols to cope with errors at relay nodes so that simple receiver processing can collect the diversity at the destination. To this end, we derive in this paper a class of strategies whereby decoded bits at relay nodes are scaled in power before being forwarded to the destination. The scale is adapted to the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) of the source-relay and the intended relay-destination links. With maximum ratio combining (MRC) at the destination, we prove that such link-adaptive regeneration (LAR) strategies effect the maximum possible diversity while requiring simple channel state information that can be pragmatically available at the relay. In addition, LAR exhibits robustness to quantization and feedback errors and leads to efficient use of power both at relay as well as destination nodes. Analysis and corroborating simulations demonstrate that LAR relays are attractive across the practical SNR range; they are universally applicable to multi-branch and multi-hop uncoded or coded settings regardless of the underlying constellation; and outperform existing alternatives.