If the article author works at one of those "average" shops, I think he has every reason to consider his experience on news.yc as a breath of fresh air and tell other people about it as an example.
Additionally, I think part of what impressed the author so much was that pg took the time to handle the request immediately. This isn't a site anyone pays to use, there's no revenue incentive, and the request was not the early stage of a riot, but they took care of it as though it was as important as a paying customer relationship, and that's not a response you expect from most web services. In fact, I think that may be what impressed the author more than just the speed of the fix.
I am at one of those "average" shops, as are most people (by definition, although maybe not in the HN community). I know this stuff is possible but we can't do it here, and neither can most sites.
To put it in perspective, if you found a bug in your bank's website and told them about it, how long would it take for them to fix it? Even worse, what if you suggested a way to make the site work better? Would anyone with decision making power ever even see the suggestion? Just try telling someone WHO'S NOT A GEEK this story and see what they say. I wrote the article because when I told my wife what happened, her jaw hit the floor.
To put it in perspective, this is a very simple, small application with a relative handful of users that ... publishes links.