I'm one of the so called "failures", at least so far. But if I had the choice to go back before surgery, yes, I'd do it all over again! I'm fairly sure that the reason my my failures are more down to me and my body, than down to any of the treatments (surgical or not) I've had.
Trust me, when you start having back problems, there are friends who say avoid the surgeon, try this, try that...but these are often the people who have never suffered anything too serious... At the same time, I know two people who avoided surgery and whose herniations/problems sorted themselves out with time and physio (6mths - 18mths). I waited a year before seeing any doctors, and then did around 6 mths of alternative treaments, and all the time my symptoms worsened, so when it came to it I knew surgery was my best chance.
Anyhow, there's an equal number of people, if not more, who say go and get it sorted. I know, or know of, lots of people who have had successful surgeries. One had a massive disc herniation at L5/S1, was operated promptly, and is now, 5 years on, doing absolutely grand. No problems whatsoever. Another had fusion at L4/L5 several years ago, and is doing everything she ever did before... Many other success stories come from friends of friends who want to help keep you positive - and it works!
Yes, a lot of us on here are either people like me who continue to have problems, or people who, like yourself, are searching for information and support. As so many have said, the successful ones disappear. I "disappeared" myself for a few months after my last surgery, when everything was progressing reasonably well. When I very first started seeking treatment, the old spineys on the board provided so much reassurance and advice, that was far better than anyone on the outside was giving. My doctors gave me the medical help, the spineys gave me the practical and emotional support, that someone without back problems could never really provide. You only have to look at the list of post-op tips to see the range of advice that experienced spineys can provide (from remedies for constipation, to how to sweep the house with the aid of a pole and a pair of slippers!).
All in all, I think you just have to remember that the decision always rests with you. No-one will think you crazy if you decide not to opt for surgery (especially, the surgeons - all the surgeons I've seen have always finished consultations with "of course, its your decision"). The important thing is to be as well-informed as possible. Only you can know what pain is tolerable, if things are really improving or not, how the problems is affecting your way of life, and at what point you say enough's enough. These are the decisions you make before you even seek medical help in the first place, and they're the same ones you make when you undergo physio, and the same ones you consider when you discuss surgery.
Wow, this a long reply, and I apologise but I just really want to reassure you that there are surgical and non-surgical successes out there, they are in the majority, and that we're all here to help support you and others. Trust me if this next surgery works for me, I'll be shouting it from the roof tops!!!
As we say in france "Bon courage"...hang in there!