Remember those old commercials..."I'm not an expert, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night..." ;-)
I'm not sure I would necessarily comdemn a surgeon just because he hasn't done a lot of TIFs. Of course the surgeons are going to say that in order to do the surgery takes considerable skill. First of all, they have big egos and want to come across like they're the BEST at doing something, but they also hope to differentiate themselves from others by the same claim of skill.
If you think about what's actually being done, though, there's nothing about a TIF that's extraordinarily complicated. And in truth, I think most of the technology/skill is built into the EsophyX instrument. It's basically an awkward, oversized EGD instrument, with a staple gun. If the surgeon is reasonably intelligent (perhaps measured by the number of successful Nissens), and knows, for example, not to overinflate the stomach because it puts too much tension on the fundus, etc., I see no reason why an experienced surgeon can't be qualified to do a good TIF.
I think the surgeon who did mine had done fewer than ten. The fact that it hasn't helped my symptoms is no fault of the procedure, or the surgeon who did it. The results can be considered "excellent", were it not for my LPR.
One thing you mentioned -- the "twist" at the end of the valve -- I've never heard of. Perhaps this involves some skill. But the thickness of the valve is due to the thickness of the tissue already present. A surgeon can't create a thick valve with a TIF if the esophageal tissue is thin to begin with.
I can't contribute to the discussion about the relative skills of different types of surgeons. The only measure I would use to rate an individual's skill is the number of procedures per year, and total. That, and maybe the number of gray hairs on his head. I don't think I'd trust a kid fresh out of medical school!