As far as comparing this to other vets in the area, yeah it's quite common to find that your vet may or may not be a bright crayon. Truth be told, it's not hard to become a small-animal vet these days if you can put in your time and whatnot. To make matters worse, we have a dearth of experienced and knowledgeable vets around here. Many are young and quite frankly, don't do anything but go through the paces day-by-day figuring things out as they go along without any real learning for the sake of improvement and collect their paychecks. We have some newer clinics that cater to more upscale customers and they invest in training and technology, but there's only a few of those and they aren't accessible.
As for the rescues, yes they do things quick, cheap, and often dirty. That's just how they have to operate so they can spend their money elsewhere as they see fit. Some will spend their money intelligently and others will do it willy-nilly. I've seen dogs that were to be and should have been put down due to their problems get tens of thousands of dollars in vet care while they let other dogs with easily treatable problems languish in off-the-books kennels where they pick up all sorts of diseases. Unfortunately, you can't really do anything about it.