I needed to extract the list of default best practices from the Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System. The best practices are encoded as rules in the tool’s XML configuration file. Bill Baer has a great blog post discussing it as well as how to add custom rules for the tool to check. So you can see the rules’ titles and explanations by inspecting this file, except that it is pretty hard to read.
When you run the tool, it first downloads an update to its configuration file then goes on checking the rules. I found it easiest to update the configuration file then write a little XML parser and dump each default rule’s title, category and description into an Excel file. You can download it here.