Having an instrument rating and a suitably equipped aircraft means you have a proper mode of transport that can be relied on in most conditions rather than an occasional fair weather means of getting around by day only.
If you intend to fly privately you should consider getting an FAA IR and flying IFR in 'N' registered aircraft.
Acquiring and keeping an FAA IR is far more realistic for the private pilot that the JAA equivalent and looks to remain that way for the forseeable future.
A few examples:
The FAA IR groundschool can be done from Jeppsen CD or a text book. The FAA publish the bank of questions from which the exam will be taken. You go to a test centre, pay a small fee, they download a MCQ test from the internet, if you pass you get your result there and then, thats it - ground school over..... The JAA has the equivalent of a university degree program which must be done through a recognised training organisation.......
Your FAA IR is valid for life as long as you keep it current, your JAA IR must be renewed annually by flight test where you book an examiner and supply an aircraft.
You need a Class 1 medical for a JAA IR, if you are over 40 your JAA Class 1 medical lasts only 6 months. You need only a Class 2 medical cert for an FAA IR, that lasts 24 months if you are over 40, 36 months under 40.
If you need reading glasses the JAA require an ophthalmological report every 2 years, done not just by any compenent ophthalmologist, but by one acceptable to the issuing Authority. (there are only 2 in Ireland, both in Dublin, and only 1 operates occasionally at the Mater Private Aeromedical Centre where you have to go for a Class 1 medical examination - the latter only operates 2 days a week.....) The FAA accept that reading glasses are a fact of life as one gets older and don't make a song and dance about it....
I could go on!!
Also, I recommend that if you are serious, you should join a pan-european organisation called PPLIR Europe, their website is at: