Don't overlook used equipment. If you plan on geting real serious in this hobby plan on shelling out some bux for gear. New equipment is nice to have but not really necessary to have a rewarding experience. When I got into the
hobby I actually designed and built a 40M transceiver that put out an amazing 1W and had a ball with it. Hamfests are a good source for used stuff. Check the major Ham magazines for them in your area. Clubs are also a good source...use your imagination, and don't think you need something new. ( the IC-V8000 is a nice unit... I have a dual-bander that I still can't program without the manual, and I've had it for at least four years..hi hi.)
A lot of people are afraid of other people's freedom. Keep a close eye on yours.
-- E. F. Nine