Went to the Honda motorcycle dealer today. Turns out the Honda Rebel, at less than 250 ccs, is going to be way too underpowered. I'm not sure who that bike is for -- wafer thin 16 year olds or something -- but regular-sized adults need something in the 650+ cc range. So now I'm looking at spending a minimum of $6000. Which isn't horrible, just more than I was thinking. But insurance is dirt cheap, and gas for it will also be very cheap, and lessons won't be too expensive either.
And, since I'm now mentally preparing myself to spend a minimum of $6000, I get to take a serious look at the BMW 650 CS, which is about $8000. It's quite a cool bike, and my first choice if I can get the money together.
It's a shame the weather is all shitty right now, because now that I've gone and looked at some bikes up close, touched, got a sense of how physically big they are, how much they weigh, I'm eager to start learning to ride one. But I need time to sock away some cash, so it's for the best.