Climbing stairs as a great cardio workout while toning your lower body muscles and engageing core strength. It's also load bearing which helps with bone density.
Going up stairs burns about 3 times as much energy as walking on the flat! But going down stairs increases impact on joints. Stair machines give you the benefits without the downside.
Pay attention to your ceiling clearance. Most club "escalator style" climbers need about 9' ceilings. Look at the "step up height" on step/pedal style climbers. Add that to your height, and add a couple inches for personal space, that's the ceiling height you'll need for a pedal type climber.