I can drive 15 miles and takes lessons in a 172 or drive 23 miles and take lessons in a 180. Both instructors are top notch,I have talk to both and will be well trained with either one. Need help,do I go with the 172 or the 180.
Just stick with the 172 until you get your private. Once you’re done with that you can look into it transitioning to other aircraft. You don’t need the extra HP or seating/carrying capacity of the 180 until after you’re done with training. The lower costs and shorter travel distance will give you fewer excuses to quit training too.
Yep, equipment should be your last concern when starting out.
You already seem to realize that the school and instructor are first priority. I would also add the airport to the equation. If Airport A is a sleepy uncontrolled field and Airport B is a towered field I’d go with Airport B. Learning in a busy “real world” environment from day one can be a tremendous advantage in your training. Not sure if it’s a consideration in your case but I thought I’d mention it.