Dammit...yeah, there's a Kingston here, it's kinda synonymous with Greenwood...I was hoping to find another airsoft player around here, local players are kinda scarce, about a dozen in our group, half of which are extremely unreliable for turnouts.
As far as beginning gear goes, I hear/see people saying that echo1, classic army, and ICS are decent brands, unless you know EXACTLY what you want, and want to dump the cash on a higher-end one. Personally, I started with a Classic Army P90. Don't do that, by the way. Nothing wrong with it, it's actually a beast, it's just limited in it's application, I find. In CQB, it's great, in fields...not so much.
If I could do it over again (ok, actually i am lol) I'd start with an M4 or AK, something with a good rail platform and a wide selection of aftermarket parts (i realize that brands come into play here, as well) to upgrade and mod my gun.
But, hey, that's just me.