lilTanker saidIt used to. Then I met someone a few years ago who wasn't very smart but had the biggest heart I'd ever known.
OP, I think you've nailed it and I think that's exactly what makes the "dating game" for me seem so dry and narrow - this notion that intelligence makes or breaks a person. It sounds like a dominance thing, where guys feel that they will be more respected and admired for showing that they are more intelligent or successful.
I find that this all makes a good date but not a good relationship. People like that are never happy because they'll always be looking for someone who is smarter, but not smarter than them.
It's when you find someone that lets all of that stuff go and is modest about their smarts and/or achievements is when you know you've found someone real. I've never felt more alive and electrified than I have dating someone who was very empathetic and got to know me for me. I truly felt understood and respected as a human being - regardless of where my intelligence level was, and vice versa. And the sex, forget it.
I tend to go for more modest, laid back and smooth guys than flashy, high-profile and entitled guys anyway. I just find most tact in the former than the latter.