Re: Newbie curious about your thoughts on a beginner outfit
I would stick to the local fly shop advice.
Cortland has some nice starter outfits that generally start out at about $125.00 and up.
The bonus of going to a local small fly shop is that they can show you the knots, get you casting help, and beginners pointers. Many will even take you out on the grass and make sure you have the basics of the most intimidating part down (The cast).
When I was first trying to figure out fly fishing, I found "Fly Fishing for Dummies" pretty helpful.