I prefer to fly in pipers, but I think that for training cessna is better. In cessna you dont have to change fuel tanks, and in my opinion they are just easier to fly when you are learning. But again if I am just flying I prefer the piper. But in general they are equal. Try them both and see which one you like(if your school has both)!
The real debate is why aren't all baseball fields the same size! (Imagine basketball courts where hoops are at different heights, free throw lines at different distances, etc. or football fields that are only 95 yards long...)
Cessnas (I like having 2 doors and it's easier to check fuel)
"Training airplanes" are called that for a reason. They tend to be easy to fly and their costs tend to be in the affordable range. And that's the whole idea -- to get over the flying learning curve. To comprehend, apply and correlate the theory and the manual skills that go into controlling an airplane. Transitions into other airplanes are not big deal later, with FBO checkout policies, rather than skill transfer, being the primary consideration.
IMHO, the ONLY important things in choosing a training airplane are (in no particular order):
o Safety. Although it goes without saying, but I thought I'd say it anyway so someone else won't point it out to me
o Mechanical quality. This is really more of a function of how well the place maintains their airplanes than anything else.
o Simplicity. You probably don't want to learn to fly more dials and levers than you need
o Comfort. If you're 7'3", you might have a little trouble in that 152!
o Availability. This includes ease of booking for your time slot, the number of airplanes in the type, and how much they go in for maintenance. You really want to be able to fly a similar aircraft throughout your initial training. It's just easier to develop proper visual sight pictures and a feel for power settings if the view in and out of the cockpit is the same. That one Beech Skipper may be a blast to fly, but if there's only one of them and 6 152s, take the 152s. Think about this one, though. Everyone may be learning in 172s because the school has 8 of them, but that means that the 2 newer Katanas are always available. (Of course, this doesn't mean you turn down that offer to join your CFI in a Bonanza for a cargo run!
So, get the best deal you can with a school or FBO that cares about maintenance and CFIs who care about their students. That's all that's really important.a