I'm a little biased towards vets, I've had the pleasure to know very many good vets, so I don't have any bad feelings towards them. I do wish they would be more honest about the likelyhood of the surgery succeeding, but sometimes I wonder if they always know the odds. It really does depend on how well the vet educates themselves. Do they actually read the journal articles and go to the meetings (having a brain fart right now) to learn more? Or do they skim and talk to colleagues? That's where the real difference comes in between vets.
My dog Mo was kicked by a horse when he was 6 mnths old. He had a cartilage chip and was limping. It was diagnosed as OCD and the vet said they could do surgery to pull out the chip and sand down the bone surface so the cartilage would grow back evenly. She told me if I didn't do it, he would more than likely limp for the rest of his life and have early onset arthritis. But she said that he might not, apparently they didn't know.
I elected to have the surgery even though I was a broke ass college student and it was a lot of money. Mo is 9 yrs old now and has NEVER had a trace of a limp. Brought him to my vet this year and told her the story. She was amazed that it actually worked. Apparently back when his surgery was done they had a very very low success rate. It's better now, but still.
Now our vet that did the ACL surgery told us that they don't always work, but had never seen a dog w/ 2 torn ones survive without the surgery. So we were fully informed but did the surgery.