There are many factors to look over: How motivated are you? This is by far the most important aspect. I've taught many people that were dying to fly, and loved going up, but when it came to the ground school part, especially when it came to FARs (regs) forget it. How often can you fly-if you can fly 1x per week ok, if you can fly 2 or more times a week even better. I've had students on the life time plan coming in 1 or 2 times a month- always 2 steps forward 3 back. You need 40 hrs. flight time with varying flights-like pm, x-country, solo ect. I know of a few folks that got their private in the 40 - 41 hr. mark. Figure on 50-55 hrs.-Do you have your own plane-will cut down on the costs a lot ( I've taught folks in their own planes) I don't recommend buying your own until you have a license.I'll throw out a random cost of $7500 - 10000(fixed wing) multiply it by 10 for (rotor). For 50 or 60 gs you can bang out your ratings @ ATP & places like that. In the big picture, in the real world what makes a good pilot is money, money, & mo money!
The Pilot's License is issued by the FAA, and is free. To get a Student Pilot's Licence, you set up an appointment with an FAA Medical Examiner (there's a list on the FAA website, or just google for a local one). He will test your eyes, your hearing etc and if you are up to snuff will give you a student licence.
He will charge for the exam - maybe as much as $150.
Then go to a Flight Instructor or Flight School at your local small airport and learn to fly. It will cost $4000 and up, depending on aptitude and motivation.
Then take your Flying Test (another $200-250) and the FAA will send you a licence, absolutely free.
There is talk about charging for them though. So be quick!