wow timely question.... I'm going thru the same process.
First, there is a sale at Rockler.com on router bits this week. But then, I am a newbie and don't have a clue if the sale items are good deals.... anybody?
Second, I'd like to ask the experienced folk out there if anyone has built the jig in the following link, and if that would be a smart move for a newbie working in a cramped space... the idea is to mount the router on a jig that would use the table saws miter slots instead of a separate router table taking up its own sepearate real estate on the shop floor:
Finally, since you're shopping, and I just bit the bullet before lunch myself, I'll share how I decided. After doing a lot of reading, and deciding to buy new (and my wife urging me to do it, yay!!), we ordered a Porter Cable combo kit (plunge + knob bases) http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-693LRPK-Fixed-Router-Plunge/dp/B00006411C, If I stick with it, and if my life allows the time (big if), I'll also order the D handle base for the router, for freehand work, and I'll permanently mount the knob handle base on the jig. Reason I went with that router kit is that internet suggests that more accessories work with porter cable than other brands, the starting-level porter cable unit is widely used as a starting router, and many articles said some version of "bigger is usually not better, especially for beginners". Beats me if that's accurate. I'm just repeating what I think I read about the lower HP Porter Cable unit.... if I got the reading wrong, hopefully the experts in here will share their blistered experience..... ((thanks in advance)). On a safety note, I chose to start with a lower horse power unit, so it will be less likely to get away from me and in any case, I'm not doing monster profiles in super hard wood.
If you don't need the plunge base there is a much lower $ package with the same motor and just the knob handle base on amazon