I'm on my 3rd EOS digital body now with virtually the same AF - 30D / 5D / 5D2 and I've NEVER had cause to complain about the AF. It works just fine for me for candid portraits, street, landscape and some amateur wildlife stuff.
I use centre point only and recompose. I use this method solely because I want to be 100% sure that the camera focuses on where I want it to focus. I like shallow depth of field stuff and so the focus point has to be perfect.
I'm interested to know what people will do with more than 60 AF points because aside from sports and some wildlife where you switch to servo I can't fathom the reasoning.
I think you kind of answered you own question.
why do you use the center point only? its because the other points are unreliable isnt it hence center point focus and recompose this method works.
however if you have a good AF system with a broader spread of points and good outer points you get to select the point more appropriate for you composition and compose focus and shoot. If the AF system is up to it this method is both faster and more accurate. I you get to use a 1D and try this method you will understand the massive difference in this regard.
as to the 61 points, the more points the more accurate the AI servo will track and hand over from point to point
number of points is all about focus tracking. the 9 point system is really not very good when it comes to focus tracking.
As neuro has also said the fact that the 1D meters where you have selected the AF point is also great (and essential if you are shooting in aperture priority or shutter priority however if you shoot manual and meter first its not really an issue as long as you under stand where in your frame the camera is metering)
Its all about fully understanding how your particular AF system works and where its limitations are. as soon as you try to exceed any limitation its going to cause frustration. If you know the limits and work within them then everything is fine
Your last comment is spot on. You must understand and work within the capabilities of your AF system. If you are willing to put the time into understanding how certain 1D AF settings work in certain situations you can really get incredible results.