I'll tell you how I got started recording.
I had a crap PC, got interested in recording, so I went downtown and talked with a friend who was enrolled at the Musician's Institute in Hollywood. I asked him and all his classmates what program and computer to use. All 10 said, "Protools on a Mac".
Ok...so, I searched around, found a used G3 for $400, snagged it up, got online and downloaded ProTools LE Free. I couldn't bounce to disk on free, so I did more searching and found Digital Performer 3.0 with a serial. Installed that and haven't looked back.
I also use a cheapass Beringer Eurorack MX 602A 6 channel mixer, a Russian Octava MK 319 condenser mic and Audio Technica ATH-M40fs headphones.