This debate can go on all day and night, with no winners and no losers.
Stats are stats...period. But truth be told if one is younger, has a low psa, reasonably low GS and no signs of extension, than surgery should be a no-brainer.
Its when you get into the other than "no brainer area" (higher psa, higher GS and less favorable staging) that radiation (or cryo) may be the better bet.
However, to me the one real advantage to surgery, is that after surgery one has a clearer picture of what is truly going on (ie. post surgery biopsy and biopsy of selected lymph nodes). Compared to surgery, radiation and cryosurgery are shots in the dark...one never knows much beyond the needle biopsies and the other tests that may or may not show everything.
Therefore, if one gets salvage radiation following surgery, it is more likely that the salvage will work because more is known of what the problem is. If one gets salvage cryo for failed radiation or salvage cryo or salvage radiation following failed cryo, there is less known about where the disease is and more of a chance for re-failure.
On the otherhand, I cannot think of anything which would be more defeating in the short-term than to find out after surgery that there is evidence of extension and that the surgery should be followed up in three months with radiation. However, this is a nasty beast and if thats what it takes to kill it than the heck with the short-term disappointment.
Just my opinion..... BTW: had I qualified for surgery I would have done it in a heartbeat. I did have a surgeon who said I did qualify but I didn't really have faith in his opinion. But then again, that surgeon did not tell me about doing an immediate salvage radiation, if he was wrong. Had I known that was an option (and covered by insurance) I would have had surgery.