The JAA route is more expensive, more time consuming, and more difficult, but minimum
standards are higher.
The safety record in the US is very good
however, so why bother ?
A lot of all this is political, bureaucratic vested interest dressed up as safety.
Many of the pilots approaching LHR, CDG as you read this have a 'mere' FAA rating and they are perfectly OK.
It never fails to amaze me how many pilots in the UK critisise the Americans and then climb into their American built aircraft to fly it it in a traditional British way!
I am British, holding a UK licence but regard this as unwarranted arrogance.
I quite often hear that the quality of pilots in Europe has to be beter because of the poor vis and the congested
airspace. I used to buy that until I did a bit of flying in New Jersey in October
and now I know its a lie.....