My impression of the quote where the woman mentioned feeling "superior" wasn't so much that she thought she was better than others, but rather that she felt like a strong, beautiful, birthing Goddess. That's how I feel, and I guess that feeling does kinda resemble a feeling of superiority. Though, I wouldn't say others are inferior. I figure they just didn't educate themselves, OR they made a tough, educated decision. Either way, I think women tend to do whatever they think in best, problem is its hard to know what might be best without the info!
I was the same way as the pp with drugs, at first I didn't really know what the side effects were, I just knew they weren't an option for me. SOME of the side effects are: (mother) restricted mobility, liklihood of catheter, oxytocin, and internal monitoring. Increased risk of operative delivery. Blood pressure monitoring. Hypotension, nausea, vomiting, shaking, prolonged labor. May not relieve pain at all, or may only take on one side. Respiratory insufficiency or paralysis. Convulsions. Toxic drug reactions. Headache, septic meningitis. Allergic shock. Cardiac arrest. Maternal death. Neurologincal complications. Chronic backache. Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function. (Infant) Direct drug toxicity, fetal distress (abnormal heart rate), drowsiness at birth, poor sucking reflex, hypothermia and neonatal NICU workup (spinal tap, etc.), poor muscle tone during first hours, jaundice, decreased bonding, behavioral problems, hyperactivity up to seven years. And lets not forget the effects of operative delivery (forceps, episiotomy, c/s, etc.).
I have often wondered how many women sign the consent form BEFORE they go into labor, because I personally don't think I'd be paying too much attention if I signed it after I'd asked for drugs. These things are listed on the consent form.