Hello...I'm interested in taking up flying as a hobby. I've done a bit of homework regarding my options for ground school. There are a few companies who offer "complete private pilot kits" for those who want to study and learn as much as possible at home with DVDs and a flight simulator. I realize these courses are intended to co-exist with physical flying and an instructor. The most popular packages seem to be the Sporty's, Kings School's, and Jeppesen courses.
Has anyone had any experience with these courses? If so, which would you recommend? Do they really come with all the materials you'll need pass your written, oral, and practical checkrides? If not, what other materials would you recommend I purchase?
A question for the CFIs...have you had any experience with students who chose to study at home rather than a traditional ground school class? Do they learn as much? Did they become well trained and competent pilots?