If you are somewhat handy I would suggest going with DIY kits and putting together your own lighting system. You could easily cut the cost in half or more. I started out with a 72bow. I ran PC
lighting for the first 3 or 4 months and then upgraded to MH
and T5s. I think I put maybe $350 into the entire lighting setup (not counted the T5s I added recently). Check out Hellolights.com for retro kits and parts. I got a lot of my stuff from them. Also check Craigslist in your area. People are always selling used equipment.