Hmmm, how odd, I'm just having a break from writing a preliminary bit of my Phd on almost exactly this subject (though as regards disability in general, rather than blindness in particular).
Firstly, it doesn't exactly seem helpful to this question to bring a risk of death into things. a lot of people are afraid of dying, some extremely afraid, to the point that whatever reward was balanced against a risk of death, they'd always take the alternative, even when what's beeing offered is extremely worth having. so, I don't think it's particularly fair to ask whether people would want site at a risk of death (I know this wasn't your original question trajectory, but it does seem to have crept in). I personally would deffinately go for having normal 20 20 vision, probably up to a moderate risk of death, but then again I'm not all that afraid of dying anyway.
but to rephrase the question, would i take an operation to have normal vision? well yes I would. to explain why, I'll paraphrase something from my Phd.
there are quite a few things, such as seeing colours, appreciating painting or hugely artistic film sequences or driving a car, that are simply unavailable to us. I'm not saying these are good things, or things which you necessarily have to have to be happy, just that their things we can't experience.
there are other things, like reading print, or mobility that take quite a bit more effort than they would for a sited person. Some of these are social type things (it would make my life a lot easier if companies wrote cooking instructions on things in braille, for example), but some of them are physiologicalle, like beeing able to know what colours are like if you've been born without the ability to see them.
So basically, it comes down to a question of freedom of choice, and for the reason of extra freedom of choice I'd deffinately go for an operation to have full site.
About me personally, I lost the majority of my vision when i was 7, and have a small amount left. But there are stil loads of things (like reading print), that I would love to do and can't.
Cx2, I understand the point about attention, but I must admit that not all the attention I've got from being a blind person has been good, ----- though it's true a lot has. But as this post is threatening to explode I'd better stop. Perhaps the attention thing deserves it's own topic?
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)