I too am skeptical about buying turtle beach products due to their lack of durability. I have a set that I bought that stopped working properly after a half dozen uses. They were not the cheap model either! Buying third party refurbs make the purchase even more worrisome.
As for the surround effect in the models that have it, I have not had luck using it. I have only tried one headset that seemed to provide correct placement of sounds, and it was from razer. Expensive headset, but functional for surround. Ended up returning it, though, as the volume was not loud enough for me. Turtle beach, on the other hand has always been plenty loud regardless of the model i have tried.
Another note on the surround sound. The effect seems to work better for some, similar to how 3d seems more effective for some people than others. Even though it is a result of processing and not actual speaker placement like in a traditional surround sound setup, the science does work for many. Remember, you only have two ears. The placement of sounds is done by the way sounds reflect off of your ear canal before hitting your eardrum. "Real" sounds that are all around you are perceived by your brain to be behind you, in front of you, next to you, etc. due to how those sounds reflect off of your ears canals. The Dolby headphone technology is designed to simulate that effect on a processing level so your brain perceives the sound in a similar way. Since everyones ears are different the effect becomes more apparent to some than others.