I guess it all depends on how fast you want to get started as well as finances.
I went cheap, but with enough equipment and then bought more stuff as I went along. I only started in mid June so I'm new also.
Have the money? Then you can but everything at once.
My initial purchase was a $50 kit that included a plastic food grade primary fermenter, a bottling bucket with spigot, hydrometer, stick on thermometer and flask, airlock, siphoning tube, racking cane/auto siphon, bottling wand, caps and capper as well as one step sanitizer. I bought a 20qt kettle prior to that. Along with the kit I also purchased 2 cases of bottles which cost under 20 bucks. The extract that I used cost me around $25 for 2 cans of extract...also purchased prior to my kit purchase.
That was fine for brewing my first batch and everything worked out fine. I have beer!!!
Right after that I went out and bought a 5 gallon glass carboy for about $15 to use for a secondary on my second batch. Every now and then I purchase some other piece of equipment. Yesterday I bought one of those wine thingys sort of like a turkey baster to remove a sample from the fermenter...cost about $5.
I find everything relatively cheap. My next purchase will be a glass carboy for primary, only because I want to watch my brew churn!!
This weekend I'll buy a carboy rest that allows you to rest your carboy upside down for drying. Is all this stuff necessary? No, but sometimes it makes things easier. I probably could have continued with my original $50 kit and nothing else.