This article is the response to the question "How long is an average fighter mission?" Read for more, if you count mission prep, briefing, maintenance debrief and flight debrief, it could be a 12 hour day for a 1.5 hour flight. If students approached their training with that level of seriousness, well... they'd be professional-grade VFR/IFR all-attitudes pilots in the same time it takes the Air Force to turn a nugget into a newly winged pilot.
If you want to be a great pilot, it's best if you can come to see planning for and debrief of the flight as the fun part. The planning is a huge factor in the safety of flight, and the debrief a huge factor in whether you'll continue to improve (or at least maintain your skills) as a pilot. I have a student who sometimes comes to me for aircraft checkouts in light GA aircraft. He's a former Air Force C-17 instructor. He flies, as you'd expect, like a pro, but it's not magic. He just briefs his flights like crazy and uses his checklists every time. When we fly the sim, he knows all the NOTAMs that are in effect at our airports of intended landing and alternates. You just decide how good of a pilot you want to be.