Someone told me that if the software product meets clients expectations, it is good quality. But I've worked with Interaction Designers (the same kind of people who made Gmail's interface and usability so cool!), and I've loved working with them because even though they came up with hundreds of changes in requirements, and emphasised on many many subtle details, when the software was complete, I could look at the product and say WOW!
Sometimes, in a company, the only thing that matters is completing the project on time. As long as it works and as long as the client says it's ok, nobody bothers to improve it.
I'm not talking about gold-plating, but I believe that for a programmer to enjoy his (well, maybe her too ;) ) job, they should be able to proudly say that "Hey, I made that software" and that comes only when the product is of good quality.
Apart from your opinions on this, I'd also like to know which fields (Eg. Aerospace, Finance etc.) could I find companies (or you could mention the company name) where the quality of a product is as important (and encouraged by the management) as completing the project on time?