Start Cheap - Honest!
Hardware: you can pickup an Rm1x off ebay £190 and learn it - you'll learn everything on it
production, effects useage. The sounds arent cutting edge but thats not the point.
Plus the major benefit I found was whenever I got an idea (even in the middle of the night) i could reach for it by the side of my bed and get my ideas down - no walking into a studio full of gear hoping for inspiration. I still use it now to this day for the above reason
Software - probably fruity loops (now FL Studio) or Reason (Reason if I had to choose)
Just get your feet wet cheaply - then move up - I fell for the classic trap of getting all the gear but i still had to go back to square one to learn the basics - theres no real shortcut (although its easier now)
p.s. Cosmo D is on the money
Casio CZ3000 - had more background hiss than Mr Hiss from Hisstown - Hissville
Well mine did anyway!
Sounds like Jean Michel Jarre - Magnetic Fields 5
Cube 5 & A Live
Just looking at the new kid on the block "Prosonus StudioOne" and it aint half bad to be honest (lean)
TI Speak n Spell
Casio VL1 (all midi'd up "kenton")
ZX spectrum with a Currah uSpeech Interface (gotta love the v'coder)
A rubber mallet
8x8 bit of Lino for my backspins
Al Naafiysh on 8 track cartridge (to play along with)
and a small winkle
SH101 (had and loved)
JP8 (really wanted!!)
Elka Synthex (google it)
OSCar (played with)
Access Virus (had until a p*ssed up friend spilt a fine red between the keys...BANG!)
Casio VL1 (had to mention it as it was my first tinker
All hardware gone now apart from a battered RM1x with no case (underneath bit) an RS7000 a Dave smith Evolver and a Remote 25 Audio (same as the xstation) everything else "soft"
Check out sylenth if you are into Softys
oh by the way "hello"