Best greetings and wishes for a smooth pathway.
I will share a couple of comments, as briefly as possible.
1. This is the best board I have found on the internet for getting questions answered with no embarrassment or fuzziness. People here are committed and willing to share whatever experience they can. My wife and I have gotten several important questions answered that we were not able to get answered in the local support groups or find in our other reading. I also suggest that you check out yananow.org. (you are not alone). Another good site with lots of sharing,though it does not seem to be as much a forum, like this, but a good site with lots of documented stories and descriptions of experience with various treatment options.
2. MD Anderson is certainly a center of excellence. Possibly a good option. Investigate what treatment options they have.
3. I've learned that even centers of excellence can have surprising limitations and that reputations can be based on perception. For example, there is a local hospital here that is rated very very high, nationally for cancer treatment. but they do not have a da vinci robot (!) though I've heard they are getting one. Their primary focus is on radiological approaches. Nothing at all wrong with that, except that those treatment options would primarily be of value for those with more advanced conditions than my own.
4. I've elected to pursue da vinci surgery because it allows for complete removal of the prostate (always considered the gold standard, in terms of recurrence), which will allow for proper staging of my disease and verification of whether it is confined to the prostate or not. I'm looking only at top surgeons nationally, those who have done more than 500 surgeries. Menon, Patel, Su, and that guy at Vanderbilt. Side effects and recovery seem better, though some folks choose the seeds and that can be a very good option.
5. Regarding your doctors seeming reluctance to stage the disease for your husband--he may have been somewhat uncertain. Even a DRE takes a considerable level of skill to do properly. Same with pathological staging. Dr. Strum (oregon) (do a search on prostate cancer institute) (many very excellent papers and nomograms on that site) is extremely selective in recommending pathologists. The purpose of my comment here is simply to seek out one of the very very best centers for your second pathological evaluation, such as Epstein at Hopkins. This will help you have confidence in your choice of treatment.
6. Last (and I notice how much more I've written in my "brief" comments than I expected) but not least is, keep studying until you are confident in your choice of treatment, whatever pathway it might be. You already know quite a bit, from your experience with your father, so your questions are already very insightful. When I finally got to the point where I knew my choice I was able to return all the books to the library for some other poor soul to check out, stop pondering and now it is simply a matter of getting on one of my surgeons schedules. That, in itself, is a bit of a relief.
God Bless you on your pathway and best wishes for a speedy treatment and complete recovery.