In the UK it costs about £5k but I know it can be half this price in the states or Oz. That price includes all flights, training manuals, maps, ground tuition and all the exams. You do 20 hrs of accompanied flight before you can fly solo. I think you have to do a couple of the exams before you can do this. (I am only 2.5 hrs into the thing ;oP)Throw in some emergency procedures and when you have done 40hrs flying time you will do all the exams. If you pass you have your ppl and you can fly your friends and family pretty much anywhere in the world. You can also fly almost any single engined aircraft. (that doesn't include fighter jets).
The funniest bit is talking to air traffic control. I get it wrong all the time. When i request something I don't sound like a pilot.
"ummm hello air traffic control this is, ummm what my name? oh yeah, Papa Kilo. I want to go down a bit to have a look at the nice boat down there. Can I? Over n out."
Not quite right but they understood.
I have my next lesson next week.
BTW I have been scared of flying for years. I still am but when I'm in control I love it.