you get pagerank from sites linking to you. The more valuable links you have the more pagerank you get. The pagerank you see in the google toolbar is not updated very often.
The time required to obtain page rank depends on the quality and quantity of the backlinks of your site. In usual case the site starts getting page ranks in 3-4 months, if you have a decent back links from good sites. you cannot expect to get a high page rank in a short period as it is a gradual process.
One of my site got only PR 2 (although I've tried to submit it to a lot of website directories) after 4 months from beginning.
the guide - I think submitting to lots of directories wasn't a good idea. If the directory where your link was submitted had PR1 - The page would be at most PR3...
Thanks a lot for your advice, pawelabrams. I've wasted a lot of time for that task.
You get pagerank from the links that you get from other websites. The higher the pr of the websites that link you the more pagerank that you get. You get your pagerank after you get enough links from other sites and google realises those links. Google updates their pagerank for all sites in around 3 months so you will get your first pagerank when google updates the pageranks.