I think the crux of the issue really is how "bad boy" is defined, as has been discussed a bit already.
The whole "nice guys finish last" line is definitely not true, though, unless you're defining "nice guy" as complete doormat. I don't think many people of either sex likes to be with a partner who won't express any opinions, expects their partner to make all important decisions, won't stand up for themself, and generally shows signs of having no self-esteem.
I think it also depends a bit on age. Young men, in their early 20s, tend to do reckless, crazy things. Of course there are exceptions, but when you're past that age, you look at the "young'uns" and the vast majority could fit the description "bad boys" in some way or another, whether it's driving fast cars, attending wild parties and drinking too much, hooking up with new women every couple of weeks, or just playing football with their buddies on rainy days and coming in covered in mud and bruises.
I'll also toss into the mix that there are plenty of guys who talk a big game, but when a woman gets them alone and away from the other men, they turn into sweet, cuddly, fuzzy wuzzy teddy bears. Eventually they mature enough to realize they don't need to act like big tough guys in public and there's no shame in having his daughter sneak up and paint his toenails pink while he's napping on the couch...the shame only comes after his wife posts the pictures of that on Facebook for all their friends to see.
Like fine wines, men tend to mellow with age. Those crazy, wild, bad boys tend to grow up into decent, mature, loving husbands and fathers.