You don't need much to make good brew that is for sure. But me being the guy I am I know that I will keep adding on equip and improving process as I go. I am getting ready to build my brew stand and just recently bought my last of three pots (have been living off a HLT/BK dual purpose pot for a while now). I built an electric set up as well. Do I need all that stuff? Nope.
So start where you can and go from there. You won't look back. The sooner you get to AG the better I say.
I'm down the stretch for AG too. Decided I just wanted all stainless touching my hot liquids, so I bought two 9-gallon Bayou Classics and will mash out of one with a weldless stainless ball valve and this false bottom:
Made my own copper IC with a 20' coil from Home Depot.
For now I'll grind at the LHBS.
The equipment stuff can be as much fun as the brewing, IMO.