beginners Studio flash
If you're just learning and want some stuff to play around with, I'd suggest picking up a single monolight with a mid-sized softbox and a 5-in-1 type reflector and reflector stand.
Set up in a longish room, far from the back wall so your background is smooth black and start playing. Learn how your one light behaves and the lighting effects you can get from that with a reflector. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish with one light.
I'm suggesting one light and a reflector because you can spend the cheap kit money on one better-quality light which you can add to in the future as you learn. You also can focus your attention on one light source and really learn how that light behaves, instead of muddying the waters with a big kit.
|Hook Head Lighthouse by kroker|
from Best Photo of the Week
|Green turtle in the shallows by gcachon|