It crossed my mind, following my negative equity brainwave post that some comparative costing would be informative.
In absolute terms a 50 metre run of mixed country hedge plants would cost about £80 plus VAT. It would take one unpracticed person less than a day to plant. Other than clipping its maintenance costs are about zero and it should last for at least 100 years ( a yew hedge costs more, but can last ten times as long).
For the accountants amongst you an opportunity cost approach (namely what do I lose/could have instead if I plant a hedge) is instructive.
The same length of panel fencing, including the necessary uprights, but ignoring concrete or ground spikes would be £875 plus VAT and not counting labour. And one unpractised person would never get it done in a day (or two). Without any disrespect to the large discount chain I got the pricing from, your fence would be lucky to last 10-15 years.
Don't even think about brick (or stone) - the same run would cost you at least £12,000 and would probably not last as long as the hedge unless it got re-pointed once or twice over the next 100 years.
And I have not even mentioned graffiti (unlike brick walls I see all over the place, you do not get it on hedging).
Watch your plants grow and enjoy.