Speedotron packs are also a very good buy these days. I bought a D402 and two heads for about 200 dollars two years ago, and they've served me very well. White Lightnings and Alien Bees just don't do it for me, but then again I was raised on my father's Profoto 7A packs with a multitude of heads. I don't like monolights, much prefer a pack-head arrangement.

Good modifiers and accessories are just as important as the lights. Don't bother with "light stands", they're lightweight pieces of shit in most cases. Go with used Avenger or Matthews C-stands with good knuckle arms.