This is something I have been thinking about for the past 9 months, much more seriously recently though. Does anyone here have their PPL-H or commercial license, I'd love to pick your brain a little bit to help with this decision. $12k for a license is nothing to sneeze at financially, so I'd love to get some first-hand perspective on the training process, costs, and requirements.
Just do it. You only live once (I've got a friend my age who just died of a heart stroke). I don't have my helicopter license but my brother very seriously considered getting one a few years ago (price was basically the same) and now wish he did (now he has a wife and kid etc. and lives in a country where it's more difficult for him to get one).
I've got no clue as to the requirements etc. in the U.S. but helicopter are very cool things IMHO... I've got a friend whose father owns an helicopter: two years ago they came visiting me on vacation and I went to pick them at a private airport (my garden wasn't big enough to land safely the helicopter). The guy basically use his helicopter like we use our cars: it was a one hour and a half drive, but a 15 minutes helicopter flight... So he takes the copter. Same for vacation: instead of taking the plane or train or car he just takes his flying machine.
There's a saying that goes like : "Best things in life are either free or very, very, very expensive". I think helicopters go in that second category. Just do it mate!
Edit: here in belgium the persons I know who have a private plane license typically simply rent planes but... Once they get a wife+kids it becomes hard for them to find enough hours in a year to flight: and if they don't fly enough, they lose their license (or partially lose it). I take it it's something to keep in mind: it's clearly something amazing to have (the license) but it requires dedication, time and money.