More to do with the charger letting the battery alone
The problem here more seems to be in the power supply leaving the battery alone when it's ok.
The last 20% charge with low current isn't good for the battery (note how you'll find plug-in hybrid vehicles never fully charging/discharging their batteries). So in "all day plugged in" environments a lot will depend on the system's strategy of when to leave the battery alone and when to actually try and top it off.
It does indeed seem like Apple's doing something right there and that ThinkPads are a bit clunky at it, because I've seen many office ThinkPads (and the same with some Fujitsu Siemens machines) that after less than 2 years had their batteries badly degraded (<30min useful life) but nothing comparable with Macbooks, not even with the old Powerbooks.
Now I remember from some old support documents that they left the battery alone after charging until it had fallen to 95% before trying to fill it up again. But this is many years ago and they have probably refined that