I would and frequently do use Justin's surgery as an example both here and in real life applications. I do this not to chastise, but to [attempt to] let people know that "where there's a will, there's a way". A flat broke college student myself, I am in the boat of not having any extra cash - no emergency fund - no cash stashed away somewhere (thank goodness for gracious parents' credit card).
The message I want to be heard by bringing up Justin's surgery is not "you need to spend at least 10K on your horse, or you didn't try hard enough", but rather "If a broke college student like me can find a way to do it, I bet you can too!" - - and that definitely does not mean that everyone should be willing or able to finance such a large risk, but rather, "If you can't afford the whole $___ that your vet will charge for ___, I bet you can find a way to pay it back over time".
We have to keep in mind that we have all levels of experience here - from people taking their first lesson to folks that have been doing it their whole lives and then some. I think it is important to recognize that not everyone has the level of expertise that others may have. There are some people here that could help deliver a foal in their sleep. Other people may have never seen a foal - and even with great online coaching, would not be able to administer proper care.
Being on forums like this one is sometimes hard, because we can't see the problem that people are actually facing...all of the little details that may get left behind by a worried or anxious poster or bad camera angle - or all of the questions we forget to ask in our replies. I think that sometimes people will stress the importance of a vet call to let someone know that "Hey, this could be really serious". For cases like that, a call to the vet doesn't cost any money. They know the questions to ask in order to diagnose the issue and give a treatment plan. So when I see "Call the vet" - I don't look at it as an expense, but as an opportunity "To learn how to treat this next time." And, if it is a serious issue, you have someone who probably has more experience than any of us just a phone call away :)