Well, I'm happy to say I do work for a company I'd recommend to a friend as an employer, and I work for an IT department that generally feels "right". I think the fact that I've been here for over 10 years probably says quite a bit about how I view my employers, and the fact that about half the department has at least 5 years' service under their belts speaks volumes for the company's ability to invest in and retain people.
I think, though, that a "great" company has nothing to do with adhering to any top 10 best practices list. Rather, I think a great company will actively promote a general attitude where many of these best practices will naturally occur in consequence. You can invest in training as far as you wish, but if you don't respect someone enough to say "thank you" for a job well done, you're still going to risk their feeling undervalued and lose them.
For me, the biggest giveaway that I'd hit an employment gold seam was when I first noticed the way the finger-pointing was carried out. When someone did a good job, the management team would (publicly) say "you did really well there". When things went pear-shaped, the management team would say (discretely) "we didn't do so well this time. How can we avoid doing that again?". Praise in public, criticism in private. Single out for commendation, look to the whole team for failings, learn from both mistakes and successes. As a consequence of this, people are prepared to take calculated risks when necessary, sure in the knowledge that they'll have management support even if they make a mistake.
Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat