For all those eager advocates of SPD clips, or any other mechanical method of attaching your feet to the pedals, here's something few of the clip using fraturnity rarely tell you. Unless you aquaint yourself at an early stage in your cycling life and feel very comfortable getting in and out of clips at split-second notice without having time to think you might end up as I did a few years back, running out of momentum on a steep hill and quite suddenly face down on the black-top.
Unless you're a serious road racer I see very little justification for any kind of clips.
Definitely not true for me. Went from no retention to toe clips to clipless. Moderate learning curve each upgrade. Not having to think is what should be. I suspect your settings were too tight. I set my clipless pedals at lowest release setting. Unless you are a very vigorous pedaler for a recreational cyclist, lowest setting should be sufficient. While the choice it is a matter of preference, I use clipless pedals for fast recreational cycling and touring, and experience the advantages. I suspect a perusal of the archives will find other such pronouncements when clipless first came on the market. I will say now what I said then, if you try clipless you'll probably like them; most did.