Yes, there are people who have terrible complications and regret the surgery. On the other hand, those of us who choose the surgery are also weighing the incredibly high risk of major health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and other problems. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, nor is it one to judge another person for taking. Also, the gastric sleeve procedure is not the same as the gastric bypass and does not lead to the malabsorption problems that you are speaking about. That's not to say there are no complications, but this is a significantly safer procedure in that sense.
Those who lose weight through diet and exercise alone have only about a 4 - 6% rate of maintaining that weight loss in the long run. The success rate of WLS in terms of long term maintainence is somewhere around 90-95%. Given all of these factors, WLS is a wise decision for many people. It isn't the cure for every weight-related ill, but for many of us, it is literally life-saving.
And don't assume that all doctors who perform weight loss surgery are out there just to make money. My surgery was covered totally free by my HMO and they certainly didn't make any money off me, other than what they will save from having to treat any longterm health complications I may have had (I was pre-diabetic and heart disease runs in my family.) Kaiser decided to cover weight loss surgery because of its high success rate in terms of reversing diabetes and other comorbid health conditions and because, for many people with a very high BMI, it is the only thing that ultimately works for them. Read up on all the latest research in the field of bariatrics. There is a lot that people don't know about the latest advances in the field. It's important to be informed about the research-based risks and benefits before assuming that this is a bad choice for oneself or others.
Please be ready and willing to listen to others and understand the reasons behind their decision before judging it. Those of us who have had WLS surgery want these boards to be a safe place not a place of criticism and condemnation. I know your post came out of your friends' and family members' experiences and your concern for others, but it feels patronizing for people to make comments like that -- especially after someone has already had the surgery.
Thank you and blessings on your personal weight loss journey.