The members of the Chikorita family are unique in that their cellular structure, while primarily plant-like in composition, demonstrates features found only in animals. For one thing, the members of the Chikorita family possess distinguishable organs, such as a heart, stomach, brain and lungs, which plants obviously do not possess under normal circumstances. Secondly, these creatures possess animal-like forms that, aside from granting them advanced mobility for plants, allow them to deliver punishing physical blows with attacks like Body Slam later on in life; this is only surprising when one considers the fact that the only other plants capable of learning the attack are Tropius, and even then only because of their large size and similar body construction. From what can be told from genetic analyses, the answer behind these features is truly stranger than fiction: The members of the Chikorita family represent the only known case of animals turning into plants through natural evolution. From what can be told, it appears that the members of the Chikorita family mutated eons ago from herbivorous animals into plant/animal hybrids in order to adjust to local food shortages; as plants only need sunlight, water and a limited supply of nutrients for survival, such a drastic change does make some sense, if only by a stretch of the imagination. The reversal does not work, however, because advanced animal traits would take far longer to naturally develop within similar creatures than their genetics suggest; as such, the previously-mentioned hypothesis stands as the only plausible explanation.
Upon evolving into Meganium, Bayleef lose the parasitic tree shoots on their neck and instead develop a massive blossom. While they might still be able to utilize their blossom to deliver devastating Petal Dance and Petal Blizzard attacks, Meganium produce no pollen and are therefore only able to reproduce through traditional animalistic methods. Nonetheless, they still retain the ability to produce a potent fragrance from their necks, though it differs tremendously from that of Bayleef and in fact shares much more in common with that of Chikorita in that it has a calming and not an exciting effect. In battle, Meganium will often release vast quantities of this scent in order to dull their opponent's fighting spirit, thus giving them the chance to raise defensive walls with Reflect and Light Screen techniques before commencing with an offensive assault. It is also dually noted that the scent is potent enough to be used in aromatherapy candles and, as odd as it may seem, Meganium-scented candles are actually quite popular among people in the Johto region. What truly makes Meganium unique, however, is that they have the physical ability to revive dead plants with their breath. Unlike most plants, which breathe out oxygen, Meganium physically break down water and biomaterial taken in orally to produce a breath loaded with oxygen, carbon dioxide and many natural healing compounds that can effectively revitalize and rehydrate dead or dying plants. The exact process that takes place, however, is somewhat of a mystery and has yet to be completely deduced, as their life energy appears to play an important role in the process; until the functions of their life energy relative to their special powers are better understood, this ability can only be called an absolute miracle.
Although they might not have the offenses needed to deal considerable damage to many foes without the use of TMs or HMs, Meganium are nonetheless powerful combatants that can effectively combine defense with natural abilities to produce a devastating combination. With Petal Dance, Petal Blizzard and Body Slam attacks sure to leave a mark and a vibrant smell that can take off an opponent's edge, Meganium can certainly prove to be worthwhile opponents for trainers that don't know how to overcome simple defensive strategies. If you plan on facing these creatures head-on, make sure to bring a fighter with a move like Brick Break or Slash, because once these strange plants start raising barriers, you'll be hard-pressed to survive their onslaughts if you can't find a way to break the walls down!
In the Johto region, my starter was a Totodile, mainly because Feraligatr are one of the strongest Water-type starters out there.
As for giving up Pokemon, certainly not; heck, I still have around a shiny Hypno (his name is Miguel) that served as one of my main fighters on my very first Pokemon team (the other members were a Charizard, Mr. Mime, Lapras and Farfetch'd).