Being new to the airsoft scene, I am going to add my two cents as well.
Cent #1: Budget? There is a word that can never be used in conjunction with airsoft. You can ALWAYS find money for crack!
Cent #2: Anything that is under $150 is either going to be total crap and break first time out, or has been used and abused by someone else already.
Get your self AVed and then have a look around, you can get some decent gear for about $300. But you are likely going to spend upwards of $450 when you start...and it only goes up from there