Good luck. If you want to learn to fly the old fashond way, get thyself a Cub or Champ to learn in. Then after you get some time move into the Stearman.
For one, flying from the backseat of a biplane like that brings new meaning to the word "forward visibility" The nose blocks it looking ahead, and the wings block it looking side to side!
For the other, you REALLY don't want to abuse such a classic airplane in training. Believe me, you will make hard landings, ground loop, ect. You'll also be pressed to find an instructor that can teach you in either the Cub or the Stearman, though the Cub or Champ will be easier to find.
Purchess price isn't that far out of line for them when you consider what they are. A pre WWII trainer and/or warbird. They can be found in trade a plane for anywhere from $60 to $180 thousand, with most in the $90 to $120 thousand range. When you consider a new Skyhawk will set you back a cool $180 grand, and a used one is $35 to $70 grand, that's not too bad.
Where it would get you in training though is operating cost. They drink gas like water, you're looking at around 15-20 gph with the stock 250hp motor, more if you have a bigger engine. Don't know about oil, but if she's like most radials, its probibly 1/2 gph or so. And don't forget, it IS an old airplane. There havn't been parts made for them in probibly 40 years. You'll have a hard time finding a shop to work on one for you, and many parts will have to be scavenged or fabricated right then and there.
If you still want to learn in one, more power to you. The Cub and Champ, btw can be purchessed for $16 to $35 thousand, and burn around 5 gph. Finding mechanics that know how to work on them will be easier, mainly because they are so simple to work on. You'll still run into the parts problem but at least one company is sill selling new Cub parts. My dream is to buy a Stearman one one day and restore her myself to flyable condition.
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy