EA vs CPA credential – which is more important?

In my experience, if a taxpayer has a complicated tax situation he or she immediately thinks of getting help from a CPA.  However, I know that not all CPAs are trained and experienced in the specialized field of individual and small business tax preparation.  In fact, tax is law not accounting and preparing tax returns for the general public is rarely taught in college accounting degree programs.  But perception is reality.

How can EAs change the public perception?  Or should they just become CPAs too?  What is your opinion?