2) I failed Google's interview 6 times. OK, so I don't work at Google, but I am still a decent software engineer loving functional programming and distributed systems.
During last few years me and 2 of my friends passed the interview and got offers there. Everytime Google came up with noticeably (like $10K-$15K) lower salary than the then current pretty typical SSE salary of the candidate with barely balancing that decrease by stock (with total being $5K-$15K higher on a good market day). One of the friends even took that offer with obvious result - more disappointed by the offer than enthusiastic he barely made through the first year and run away.
Source: I worked in the gaming industry. Everyone wants to work at Blizzard, so why pay people what they're worth? Because you get what you pay for.