Oh my... would somebody give me a "BRAKE" here.....lol!
I have never ran disc brakes on a bicycle yet, but I cant say that I use Cool Stop pads which I have found to stop me very good even at high speeds.
When I say very good I mean that based on what I think is slowing me down quick enough to hopefully avoid something if I needed to.
The Cool Stop pads/shoes do last longer than others I have had for sure but i have no doubt that they wont even come close to lasting as long as disc brake pads and wont stop a bike as good as disc brakes either.
I'd like to add something to this conversation though, one thing that hasn't been taken into consideration in this conversation with this V-Brake vs Disc Brake debate is that with disc brakes the caliper is leveraged so that it applies many times more ft.lbs of pressure than what you can apply to V-Brake pads against the wheel rim with the leverage of the V-Brake arm and hand lever.
Another thing that makes the argument for the disc brakes offering better braking is comparing the Drum brakes to Disc, drum brakes have a lot more surface area and two or three times more friction material to apply to that surface area and yet the smaller Disc Rotor and much less area of the Disc pads provide much better braking wet or dry and the Disc brakes work much better when they are over heated, the larger drum brakes fade quick if severely overheated.
So in defense of Dave which he actually doesn't need from me or anyone else by the way......
Apples to Apples would be a wheel rim with same friction capabilities as a Disc rotor, V- Brake pads made from same high grade friction material and the ability of the V-brakes to apply the same Ft.lbs of energy to the bikes wheel, then yes the V-Brakes would out perform the Disc, but that ain't the case and a Disc brake is better than a scrubber type brake on a bicycle.
On my bike with V-Brakes I can lock them up so they give me all I need but the disc is the best option when available because they last longer
Peace and may your brakes last long and stop you on a dime....LOL!