Depending upon your definition of reality, last time I checked I was for real. I think. Or was that just an illusion? Thanks for your concern, I guess you are a "I care about real people" sort of person. Well done!
To your other points. Yes, he did make a six-figure salary (and benefits). And yes, he did have difficult to find experience and skills. And no, my post wasn't any sort of bait (or so I thought). And I repeat, this recruitment happened a while back. He has since moved on to pastures new.
The point I was trying to make, perhaps too obliquely, is that under current legislation if a qualified US citizen (or resident alien) is available for a given position you CANNOT sponsor an H1B. You have to advertise. And you do get a shed load of resumes. (You also must pay at least the going rate for the job; anyone paying 80% of the going rate to an H1B is breaking US law.)
In a perfect world, if one of the local candidates is suitable, they get the job. However, determining who and who is not qualified is subjective. So if a company really wants to get their hands on that certain special someone they will. For example, if you decide you need to hire the leader developer of whatever, and he happens to be French, you go get him. Regardless, done properly, it is a long, drawn out and expensive process.
I did a stint in the UK. Four years ago it was not uncommon to see listings on the UK job boards for "multiple programmer jobs - Silicon Valley". Not so many now though. I guess there are more than enough of us home-grown developers to fill the available berths. For now.