Glass is heavier, but scratches less easily. Acrylic is lighter, but after while, it may yellow, and turn white (scratches). Glass is more likely to shatter (don't hit it with a baseball bat...) plastic tanks are like under 5 gallons, like those spongebob tanks.
I don't like suggesting off brand things, because if something goes wrong, but about a month ago I bought a canister filter after reading good review after good review. It's a chinese brand that makes some of the marineland stuff, and I'm going to try to make a budget with this or a larger HOB
(hang on back) filter
Filter $40-60 (my filter cost $54 shipped, I'll link the stuff later)
Gravel Vac <$10
Light (depending on what you get) $30-150 (more if you want :P)
Test kit ~$18
Substrate <$20(turface if you can find it, otherwise pool filter sand)
The rest you can add later, and the substrate you can buy after you get the tank, but I think this is mostly within budget.
here's a few reviews of the filter
SUNSUN HW-302 Outside Filter setup & test - Aquaria Central
My Review: SunSun "Outside Filter" HW-302
Depending on the size of the tank, here are the two hob
's I'd recommend. You could go with the big one, or two smaller ones
Aquaclear 70 Power Filter - Filters - Power Filters at BigalsOnline
Aquaclear 50 Power Filter - Filters - Power Filters at BigalsOnline
I'm unsure of the heater, since it seems the newer ones are really crappy versions of the old ones
system should run you about 120-150 if you shop around. I got a 5 pound co2
tank and a solenoid/regulator etc for 130 (65 for the tank etc), but that came come later, or you can run 2-3 yeast bottles (change every 2-3 weeks I think, depending on the formula)
Turface is a fired clay gravel that is used for baseball diamond drainage, and you can find it at most agricultural supply stores. I'm not sure how it is in texas though.
If you can get a 40 gallon breeder, I think that's probably the most popular tank of that size (huge footprint, but not as high). I think 29 gallon and 40 gallon are relatively close in price (I think it's like 105 vs 130 or so).