I think it depends whom you are discussing training with. A lot of smart, dog-loving people view training as a great way to bond -- not because the dog is being forced to do anything, but because when it's done well, you are communicating together and its joyous. The dog's loving it, the handler's having a great time, there's lots of praise and affection, and the energy-connection between the two is fabulous. Dogs want to train in those situation.
As for "medieval looking device," if by that you mean a prong collar, perhaps you don't understand them? The trainer who taught me to use one is the gentlest-of-gentle trainers, and he likes the prongs because you can communicate a correction with many dogs with just a little wiggle of the leash--it's surprisingly easy on the the dog. The dogs need fewer corrections, and the corrections can be softer for many dogs than with other kinds of collars--a mild pressure that gently reminds the dog what it's supposed to be doing.
Also, your statement overlooks the enthusiasm with which so many highly traineddogs perform. Ever watched a utility dog's focus on its handler? You can't get that kind of focus without a bond. Or the joyous enthusiasm of a skilled agility dog running a course? That's handler-bond too. Or the delight in the play-reward given to a working K9 who earns its Kong after doing an intense scent-sweep of a location? Also handler-bond.
You may well have seen some people who are incompetent with their dogs -- there sure are plenty of the out there (my next door neighbor is one -- over the fence I hear: "FETCH! STUPID DOG! NO! BRING ME THE BALL! I SAID FETCH!"). If you watch people who have super-highly skilled dogs, though, I think you'll find many of the dogs aren't robots but are madly in love with their handlers, love what they do, and live to work.