If I look back to the day I got my private pilots certificate over 20 years ago, I don’t think I was ever as technically proficient. Sure, I couldn’t do the commercial manuevers, or shoot an ILS to ATP standards, but my precision, and finesse in take offs and landings was never better. It was the same with straight and level. I could hold +/-10 feet for extended periods, and it was rare I would deviate much more than +/-50 feet. Of course at the time, I was shooting about 50 landings/week, and my goal was formation flying, so I worked for precision. My judgement at that time, well thats another story.
I often wondered why private and commercial pilots had to jump hoops in order to fly a specific aircraft with insurance whereas the CFI would only need a cursory checkout to teach in such a plane. This excludes of course multi-engine aircraft where we need 5 hours in type. I think its the judgement issue.