I know what you mean. Back before Google introduced host crowding, I once had 10 out of 10 for one query. To be honest, that was not a very good thing - it actually brought a good bit of negative attention, and business was better after the two result limit went in.
As I understand what Matt Cutts is saying here, it's that the algorithm does not directly promote "brands", as in building a list of brands and then boosting those sites. However, they are doing their best to measure the qualities that make a good brand, and the algorithm does reward those qualities.