Um... I guess it depends what kind of hacking you want to do. I translated Knight Rider Special, but it got such a negative reaction that I kinda went off doing any more...
If you're just translating, I don't see how PCE is much different to NES, GBC, SMS... anything like that.
That's an excessive point of view.
Nothing wrong with translating a game with 16x16/12x16 tiles for font if you can't do the ASM work to make it 8x16.
A nice enough font would make it more bearable (even though not much can be done for letters "i" and "l"). Take a look at the "Go Go Ackman" translation for example.
The "Dr. Shrodinger" sounding squished by comparaison? No worries. Commercial releases (Crystalis) and fan-translations (Penta's Adventure) did it alike and no one complained.
While learning about VWF, or 8x16 is preferable, it SHOULDN'T be a sine que non requirement
I don't see much VWF for NES games to make the "i" or "l" 3 pixels instead of 8, it's actually rare.
Try making a good looking 16x16/12x16 font and don't be scared.
If the game itself wasn't of questionable quality (even you don't like it very much), I would be anticipating it, 8x16 or not... it's not like that kept me from playing Terranigma
Text-heavy games like Tengai Makyou Kabuki Fuuden (Manjimaru has a superior version on the DS, no need for the PC-Engine one -the uncensored script/scenes can be hacked back in the DS one) would NEED the 8x16 to fit in the English translation.