Can you please clarify that, especially about the extraordinary ability criteria / standards? Is there a yard stick that one can measure themselves against, to get a realistic assessment of what their chances are?
E.g may be an example persona of someone who qualifies? The examples that are given by the immigration website are olympic atheletes and such. That's probably someone who is way overqualified though. What's an example of a person who just barely qualifies, or who neither under nor over qualifies?
P.S can I hire you to be my attorney for my EB1?
I think that what Peter meant, was that these categories are often perceived as unreachable or too hard, when in fact they're a good option for high achievers, especially those who are proactive, motivated, resourceful, and detail-oriented.
You're right, it WOULD be helpful to see a yardstick, and some examples on a continuum of high-medium-low qualifications.
Here are a few news stories I've collected about real people getting their O-1 visas, and what the process was like. They give you at least a few snapshots of successful O-1 applicants.
I also wrote a blog post that gives an overview of the evidence you need.