I don't know much about the other programs but I loved UTSW. It has a great reputation and a supportive, friendly, non-malignant atmosphere. It's a huge program (largest gen surg in the country) but things seem to run efficiently (min scut) and the atmosphere is close-knit. The facilities are excellent and the skills lab is the best that I have seen of all university programs. They match well into virtually any fellowships (including the difficult peds and onc), and research is optional (which is great if you're not sure). Research is very strong (numerous clinical and bench labs, including labs with 4 Nobel winners). The faculty seem to be dedicated to teaching and the residents seem to be happy there. Dallas is a great city to live in (and quite affordable for a city of 1.5 million people). The weather is quite pleasant as well. I plan to rank it highly...still working on my ROL.
I'm not really sure why you are asking others their opinions on this subject, and I'll tell you why. I interviewed at a program and ran into two of my classmates. At the end of the interview, we got together and talked about the program. I thought it was a nice place, but my two friends hated it. What they didn't like was unimportant to me and what I saw as a plus was unimportant to them. However, my other classmates who did not interview there are biased against the program based on what they heard from my two classmates and their opinions of the program. The moral is that the biggest factors in a person's perspective of a program are individual wants and desires. These things are incredibly important to being happy in a residency. They are also things that can not be told to you by anyone but yourself.
All four programs you listed are very strong academically and will allow you to become any surgeon you want to be. What you need to decide is what you want in a program and where you feel you would be most happy. No one here can tell you this, and no one here has any more real insight into these programs than you do because everyone comes with his or her own bias. The way I see it is I am going to be the one spending the next 5-8 years at these programs, so I want to know that I've thought it all through, and I don't want anyone else's opinion to cloud my judgment, good or bad.
I'll get off my "you are going to be a resident in 5 months, start thinking for yourself" soapbox now and bid you goodnight.
socialistMD makes a good point, despite it being so obvious...if you're happy, that's all that matters...someone may think program A is the best place to be, while someone else will think otherwise. In the end, nobody cares if you went here or there...there are + and - to each program...there is no best program but the program that fits YOU best.
I am quite aware of the whole morale thing and how you feel about a place is the most important. I was just curious if anyone had an opinion on the known strengths and weaknesses of these programs in case there was some info I missed out on. Believe it or not, the little things can make a difference, and besides how great of a feel for a place can you really get in a one day interview. I feel pretty good about all these places, so that's why I'm looking for some info I might have missed. Sometimes the view of a place is also skewed by the "dog and pony show"