Unfortunately I don't think anybody would be able to tell you which is the better route to go (ICND1 + ICND2 vs. CCNA) because short of instructors, most people wouldn't take all three.
I took ICND1 and ICND2, because I figured I'd be better off being tested on half of the material at a time. I did however study all of the material for CCNA before I even attempted ICND1. Did I need to? No, but I felt more confident going into the exam knowing that they could slip something into ICND1 that is supposed to be in ICND2 and I wouldn't freak out.
Prior to when I got laid off back in March, the most I had ever done with computers was the usual break/fix stuff, and virus removal or software upgrades for friends and family. The most I ever did with Networking was plug some cables into a Linksys router and run the installation CD. But I knew IT was where I wanted to be so I decided I'd make the most of the extra time I found on my hands.
Now that I've got my CCNA I'm working hard to find a job. Yes I've got the certs now, but my resume is completely devoid of experience. So I know it is not going to be easy to land a job, but I'm definitely not letting that stop me. I know that any organization would be better for having me on their team, and sooner or later, I'll be able to get a company to see that too.
If you've decided to get the CCNA cert you obviously feel the same way about yourself. Don't let anything make you feel like going after what you want is a waste of time, or too big of a mountain to climb. You want it, you deserve it, and thick or thin, you'll make it happen.