Hair particles with multiple levels of children.

I’m using Blender3D v2.47. I’m tring to make realistic lightning, and I want to try to do it using particles. The problem is, with the new particle system interface, I don’t think it is possible to have hair particles with multi-level branching (i.e.: multiple levels of children). Is this really the case. I mean, the brownian motion capabilities of the new particle system interface would make for great lightning, trees, etc. if it were able to incorporate multiple levels of children.
Is this really not possible, or am I just missing an obvious setting in Blender? If it isn’t possible, is there way that I can make sure it will be incorporated in future versions of Blender?

Thank you.