Yes, I understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. However, if you were raised on a farm and know animals as a kid and worked with various animals, including other breeds of dogs everyday already, then a Border Collie would be a fine choice as a pet. I bought my first Border Collie at age 13 and my parents immediately signed me up for obedience when my dog turned 6 months of age in both a private facility and with 4-H. 6 months later, we started getting into the sheep dog training.
I had worked with other dogs, mainly collies and shelties previously but didn't really know what I was doing, trainingwise. My dog was still a "pet" to me because I did everything with her including frisbee, ball, gave baths outside, blow dried her hair, trimmed her hair, let her in the house, took her for rides in our little tractor wagon, etc. I think Border Collies are great if you intend to work them as I did. There are a few that make OK house pets but that's pretty rare.
You have to know how much work is involved in this breed of dog to make an informed decision, but I wouldn't count them out altogether as a pet. Generally, Border Collies are strictly working dogs so if your kids want one, make them work it! There's a lot of different things you can do with a Border Collie. The experience of working a Border Collie, meeting other dog handlers, learning patience, practice and praise is a very important aspect of owning a dog.
I think when people are scared to recommend a Border Collie for a pet it's because the term "pet" just describes a dog laying around the house doing virtually nothing but hanging out with the kids in the back yard from time to time. That's not necessarily what everyone does with a pet. Many people who buy dogs buy them with intentions to work them pretty hard and keep them in shape by spending quality time with them and still consider their dog a "pet". A child can learn a lot from a Border Collie but I do think some structured obedience classes are a must. A parent must teach their child that any animal is capable of doing animal type things and a dog is one species that is always capable of biting, nipping and hurting someone if they feel excited, threatened or hurt themselves.
I don't think Border Collies come anywhere close to say a Pitbull in it's disposition. However, a dog is still a dog.
If you read some of the stories about Border Collies hurting children, you have to ask yourself some questions. Number one, where was a parent when this happened? Did the child provoke or hurt the dog in any way? Was the child's face too close to the dog? This is stuff many folks don't care to ask but it can aggrevate a dog to the point of biting and kids normally don't know how much is too much when playing with a dog. Being raised on a farm with lots of animals, I had a knack for reading my dogs and could better anticipate what they were going to do next. So, parents, keep that in mind before buying a Border Collie.