There are tons of online "garage" lighting tutorials, demos, and build videos. Work lights, homemade diffusers, cheap LED banks, homebrew reflectors can all give surprisingly good results. Before jumping into monolights, do check out the strobist site but be aware it's not totally film-friendly. If you don't have one, a good light meter that's flash-capable is a must-have, especially if you're shooting film exclusively. Keep in mind that the "gods" you admire all had the world's best printers between them and the magazine/book pages, so what you see isn't necessarily what they shot, lighting-wise.