According to the FAA, an overwhelming number of Private Pilots carry the Private Pilot Certificate rather than the Pilot Pilot certificate, and there are a few reasons for that.
The two primary reasons are that the FAA Recreational Pilot License has quite a few restrictions on what you can fly and when you can fly it. The second reason is the cost of insurance, and it does make a difference. A highly experienced adult driver (say 45 years old) driving a '99 six cylinder Ferrari F-150 is going to pay much less for insurance than an 18 year old in a Porsche Boxter. Insurance is a numbers game for the insurance companies. Who do you think will get better rates: a fully trained FAA Private Pilot Certificate holder flying a Cessna 196 or an FAA Sport Pilot Certificate holder hanging under a parachute with a fan strapped to his back?
The Benefits of the FAA Private Pilot License:
Your FAA Private Pilots License will have ratings on it, very much like a driver's license has endorsements. You get a drivers license, then after time you might get an endorsement for a motorcycle or vehicles over 40 feet. That is the way to look at the results on your Pilots License. Depending on the ratings you have been certified in, with an FAA Private Pilots License you can basically command an aircraft for almost any non-commercial purpose.
Unlike the FAA Recreational Pilot License, you can carry passengers. Take the family fishing or skiing for the weekend. Impress the boss with a “fly over” of the construction site. Serve the community in real life emergencies, charity and angel flights and even disaster assessment aerial observations. The only restriction is you can not get paid for it; or rather you can not make money from it. Your passengers can pay their share of the cost of the flight, but you can not get paid in any way at all. Do not even try to take some compensation at a later date through an unrelated transaction.
Many people look at the FAA Recreation Pilot License as a stepping-stone to a full FAA Private Pilots License, and in some cases, it is. But, you need to realize that if you need to fly, ever you will get fully licensed so you might as well start the process from the beginning.
Find the best online school to prepare you for the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. Even if you attend a traditional school, do yourself a favor and get the best online course you can find to strengthen your knowledge. Unbelievably, the best overall rated online courses available are less expensive than one single hour of renting an aircraft.