Knowing now what I wished I knew then I would go with the Brewing Intermediate Kit w/ Better Bottles for $109.00. Everything there you need to get started brewing except a good size kettle and a big stirr spoon. If you wanted to go AG (all grain) those cooler conversions that spyk'd mentoned look like a good deal once you add up the inital cost of the coolers, the false bottom, the ball valves, the cooler conversion bulkhead and the fly sparge arm. If you knew what you were doing you could make that same thing for much less... but you would have to weigh the time involved. If you make minimum wage and aren't so much a do it yourselfer a day of overtime would be all the difference between a DIY home project and having something shipped to you ready to go. As for a burner I STRONGLY reccomend THIS ONE
. I own one and my converted keg sits atop it just fine. Full with 15 gallons of water it dosn't wobble a bit! If you wanted to get a smaller stockpot it would have NO problem heating it and you will own it for years. There is also a Stainless Steel version for $88 instead of $48. The first time I used mine the paint in the center burnt off, kinda wished I had got the SS version but I'm still VERY happy with what I have. When I started brewing I bought a 20qt stockpot. You can do 3-4 gallon boils in it just fine. If you are doing extract, maybe steeping some grains, it will do wonderful but I suggest something you can do a full 6 gallon boil in if you think you might want to even try all grain some day. I would stronly recommend a 30qt stockpot. It might be more expensive but what's more expensive? Buying the cheap alternitave now then buying the more expensive model later or just doing it right once?
I would also highly recommend an immersion wort chiller. Got mine from my LHBS for $50.
ok, so lets recap, a kit like the Intermediate kit w/ better bottles or glass carboys, a 30qt min (IMHO) stock pot, a nice big spoon plastic or stainless, and an immersion wort chiller. If you want to boil it outside THIS
burner or the SS version would be my choice and if you want to go all grain the dual cooler idea by mentioned by spyk'd sounds like a good deal as well.
I hope I was of some help, as long winded as I am(and a terrible speller, when is this site going to get spell check?!?!?!?!?
) This is the greatest hobby I have gotten into and I hope if you decide to delve into it you enjoy it as much as I do. HAPPY BREWING!!!