I'm pretty sure that what I'm seeing for my own site is a phrase by phrase issue.
I agree that it's phrase-based, ranging in severity from site to site... but I don't understand why some sites are relegated to position 3 or higher for their company name (minus the .tld, with or without spaces). I am trying to understand how the company name is "over optimized" simultaneously with other money terms. Doesn't make sense to me. However, in my case, I am using the domain name in most of the page titles. I wonder if that's causing a problem. It was a branding tactic, but I don't see as many sites ranking in the top 10 with the domain name in <title>. I saw it a lot post-Panda, not so much now.