I think the Cessna 140A (All metal) is an excellent basic trainer. From approximately, 1961 until 1973 I flew them regularly. I took basic flight instruction and instrument training in the airplane. From about 1964 until 1969, I worked as a full and part time flight instructor for Baker's Flying Service at the Kansas City, Missouri, Municipal Airport. Wilbur & Jim Baker had ten Cessna 140's on the line. Three of them were instrument planes. With the old instruments the planes were heavy, but they were used only for airwork. I've done night instruction,soft field landings in the craft, wheel landings, etc.
In 1969, I could have one or all of Baker's fleet for exactly ten thousand dollars a piece.
A solid airplane with up-dated avionics will perform better than the new ones because they are lighter. If this is your first airplane, have someone who's bought four or five airplanes go with you and check everything out.
Watch for corrosion in the tail section. Get all original log books: engine, propeller, airplane, etc.
Get a good flight instructor. Start from scratch. In the old days, a student was soloing in about ten hours. If you've started flight training in a nose wheel plan. I rhink you'll need twenty hours to make a transition; because most airplane drivers with nose wheel airplanes don't understand the forces affecting tailwheel airplanes and need to unlearn bad habits under every circumstances.
A good alternative is the Cessna 140 with the fabric wing. They go for less. There are a few 120's out there but they're getting very rough.
The recent aritlcle in the EAA Magazine about a rebuild on the C140 is the kind of airplane everybody should have.