For me, it would take too long to complete a more "personal" bracelet and so I usually do a theme. I just started with Pandora this past fall and already have several. If I was doing a braclet with personal meaning, I think I would still be working on the first one. So I think it depends on how long (or how quickly) you want to have a full bracelet. Either way, you will LOVE Pandora.
I think the personal bracelet is more special. When I first started collecting Pandora 2 years ago, I just bought the beads that I liked, regardless of theme or personal meaning. Now my bracelet is full of beads that mean something but also themed in a way. You can buy beads that all have meaning and then theme it by using the same color muranos. I have a bracelet that is just for my kids. Their favorite colors are pink (daughter) and green (son) so I am using glass and enamel beads that work. So far I have the monkey mommy and baby(me and my son, he was 1st born and we always called him a little monkey) Baby Chick ( my daughter was born on Good Friday and came home from the hospital on Easter Sunday) Enamel Butterfly in Green (green is sons fav color and daughter loves butterflys) Pink enamel flower ( daughter loves pink and son was born in June) I just got the dinosaur bead because we went to see the movie " How to Train your Dragon" and we had a great day together. No one make a dragon bead and this one is pretty close. Thats it so far but it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I have other bracelets that each bead has a special meaning to me and someone I love. When I pick out a bead, it has to mean something but also go with the theme of the bracelet. Pandora has such an extensive selection that I can usually find the perfect bead. Hope this helps.