Just found this 4 year old discussion on this dude. Interesting thoughts from all. I don't think these methods should be used from the get go on a puppy. I think they are effective (as seen by the thousands of people that proclaim to have very well behaved dogs now as a result), and just another option for those struggling with mature dogs with issues. Especially difficult issues like aggression.
I think a dog meant for sport or work will have it's own program very different than a strictly "pet" dog, I believe this is more for pet owners that just want an obedient dog, that are currently dealing with very common issues.
I went to the lake yesterday with the family and brought my corgi. I put him in a down while we made lunch, while we were down by the lake, etc...His down is dang near 100% reliable, he does not break it at all. There were a TON of dogs there. Nearly everyone that walked within ten feet of mine, barked, lunged, or pulled to get to him. I'm talking a TON of dogs. I didn't see a single one with basic, reliable, obedience. One picnic table over had a dog that actually had one of those nylon muzzles on and was lunging and growling at everyone that walked by the table it was tied to...while owners sat by drinking beer. The solution to their problem of aggression? Slap a muzzle on the dog, tie it to a table, and go about life.
The people around this forum are not the "norm" in the pet/dog world. I would say most people's dogs have zero obedience, or good "tricks" at home, with no obedience once they have distractions. These people are either not going to fix their issues, or they will only do it if it's a "quick" fix. I don't have a feeling of that being right or wrong, I just think it is what it is. These types of programs are successful (I feel), because they are quick and get results.
I have nothing against "longer" programs (I use one myself because I want to do sport with my dog), however...I understand the need for these types of programs (the short ones). The dogs aren't ruined afterwords, they aren't damaged, they are able to live life (I think) more enjoyably with their families. I am in support of ANY program that can get that result for families.