As one of the Admins here i can tell you that you've posted a touchy subject. Most regular members around here are indeed against this device and do not use one, so i'm not sure what positive advice (if any) they might have on this device.
I can say that I have heard many stories of these devices not being able to work in cases where a dog's instinct gets the best of them (like when they see a squirrel or another cat etc).
Adrenaline and instinct often win - so now we are not talking about the ethics of this device, but rather about its efficacy, and ultimately, about your pet's safety if you put too much trust in it.
I think it's reasonable that members can politely suggest alternatives to these devices if they feel they can help you and your pet's situation....
and if someone directly knew the answer to "My question: what's the best method of recall training with the e-collar? Do you stimulate before your command, during, or only if your command is ignored? " that of course would also be cool.