Muzzle brakes are a lot like any other product in that some versions work really well and some don't.
Yes, the good ones do reduce recoil substantially and yes they do make the gun a lot louder to bystanders and the shooter.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.