ok guys, here is my intellectual insight into this discussion.
Firstly, i feel safe in whatever aircraft i am flying in, whether its a Boeing B747-400 or a Dash 8, they are all the same to me.
IFlyADesk and Phil B, you brought to our attention that an ETOPs flight is not necassarily over water but also over an isolated area. But this is not strictly true. Yes, you are still flying over large unpopulated area's, but imagine this situation:
Two aircraft, an A330 and an A340 (lets say these because they are structually the same) set off from London's Heathrow bound for say, Singapore Changi. They are flying the new route over deepest siberia, suddenly, two engines fail on each. The A340 is able to fly on, albeit a little slow, to the nearest airport. The A330 has to land, although the aircraft can obtain a efficient glidepath. Considering there is no Hydraulic failure (Control Surfaces, Landing Gear etc) the aircaft, should be able to find a sufficient area of flat land (especially in Siberia) within a radius of say 50m (although it takes 100m to descend from FL350), the aircraft can carry out a, by no means safe landing but one without complete carnage etc.
Even if passengers are injured, there is flat land to sit on. Think about if this had happened at see? The aircraft would not be able to touch down successfully, and would probably break up. The injured, are stuck in the water, they are possibly more injured than on land and maybe even dead. In relivity, the sea is probably just as cold as Siberia, remember the Aircraft will have sunk, so there is no chance of obtaining warm clothing blankets etc from the a/c.
If you can see what i mean, ETOP's is safer over the ground than the sea, but still a danger.
Also another point that people are missing is that, (using the A330/A340 as an example once again) most problems occur on Takeoff or Landing anyway, and would happen to an ETOP's or non-ETOP's aircraft regardless. Rarely does an engine fail in mid flight miles from land.
Here are some more examples:
Hydraulics failure, the aircraft can't reach the runway because it can't turn, gain altitude etc. This occurs on any type of aircraft.
Pilot error, likely to happen on either type of aircraft
Bird Strike, Everybodys in the same boat, although more engines means less chance of all being disabled
Weather, once again does not matter what type.
So as you can see once again, most life endangering problems happen to all aircraft, and so you are just as safe in an ETOP's as in any other aircaft
What is the percentage of aircraft that have Un-survivable malfunctions onboard in cruise? Very little i'd say, and even then hardly any would be to do with the engines.
ETOP's aircraft are certified to fly on 1 engine, and the chances of both failing are limited. Even if they do, the chances are you will have more problems than just that if BOTH fail.