I have to say, after skimming the latest Best of Boston Improper Bostonian, I think most of their 'best-of's' are right on, or certainly worthy contenders. Aside from Village Smokehouse's best BBQ joint, not sure where they could have gotten that from.
Mind you, they might have well have gone to the chowhound site, as many of their winners are winners are this board as well.
I dunno, perhaps I am naive, but I believe that they really did use that panel of folks to come up with a worthy list. Many of the winners are smaller spots (or really well-known spots) who do not seem to be frequent advertisers for the Improper.