To call MJ a very wise man is quite a courageous statement - for myself, knowing him only from these pages, he seems quite ok as a pilot and as a contributor, but apparently suffering from dyslexia and/or too much flying. Rumour has it he is also under almost permanent, err, imbibing the fumes of certain distilleries for which the North is famous.
Seriously, though: don't despise microlights, especially if hedge-lined short runways are worrying you. My 3-axis, Rotax powered, leaves the ground after a much shorter roll than a C152, which means I am a lot higher over the hedge. Even if and when going into one, damage need not be bad, see the photograph linked below. Even the fibreglass engine cowling and nosewheel pant were unbroken, though scratched. http://users.skynet.be/fa348739/image/post_crash_3.JPG
But there is much more to that argument, a microlight can never be flown outside VMC, is cheaper on maintenance and fuel burn, offers less payload, &c. It all depends on what you want! With my budget and learning limitations, my Apollo Fox suits me very well, and a C152 does not offer me any advantage.
The day I can afford flying like Peter's, i.e. a full blown IFR, and sufficient budget to apply it regularly, I will consider the PPL route - but it seems unlikely in this lifetime.