You don't think this whole scenario you've described represents a victory for you, do you?
It's kind of funny to look back on that now, when I'm actually on sabbatical in preparation for a shift to less than forty hours a week. Almost the opposite action, but toward the same goal of asserting control over my own time. Different circumstances call for different tactics. It's easier to refuse from a position of strength and trust, which doesn't exist when there's no record of one's ability to step up when it's truly necessary.
Your attitude is the product of worker-motivation-propaganda. You have been brainfucked.
Since then, I've done a lot more than most of my peers to maintain a decent work/life balance. For example, when my daughter was born I negotiated a shift from my role as system architect responsible for my company's whole product to an individual-contributor role that gave me more freedom to spend time at home. If you think that's no big deal, try it some time. Right this second I'm on a sabbatical, and when I return it will be at less than standard full-time hours because life is just too short to spend all of it at work. I've even written about it.
In a nutshell, you are completely and utterly full of crap. I've done more and written more to fight the "heroic programmer" mythos than you ever will. You interpreted my anecdote in almost exactly the opposite of the way it was meant, and then made up some extra stuff besides, just so you could present your commonplace (and probably borrowed) observations as insight. Piss off.