It’s tricky. Nearly all of the aspects mentioned here can be intentionally done differently and still make a good font.
E.g. FF Trixie, the original distressed typewriter font.
Quality of glyph outlines = horrible
Quality of spacing = monospaced, what do you expect?
Quality of kerning = kerning is nonexistent
The font would fail by these criteria, still it is an important milestone for OpenType fonts.
Not to say that quality criteria don’t matter, but it’s the old saying, if you know the rules you can break them.
In my opinion, ligatures and alternates are overrated. Type designers (including myself) can get carried away adding them. Most users will never find the alternates. Ligatures (esp. ones that are active by default) can do more harm than good if they are added to designs that don’t really need them.