The best advice I can give a beginner with your budget is to spend your whole budget on:
1) Good eye protection - Often overlooked this is by far the most important thing you have on the field. Also strongly consider face protection weather it is a separate mesh mask or a one piece paintball mask
2) Your primary weapon - Do your homework! Get a good one, you need a reliable primary that will work. Money spent on a cheap gun can never be recouped and WHEN it breaks you'll be out of the game. If you like the G36 Classic Army makes a good one.
3) A programable peak charger - This one time purchase will last you your entire airsofting career and save you money in the long run. Not very sexy but it will keep you out on the field longer and will greatly prolong the life of your batteries. Wall chargers are garbage and will fry your batteries. The Onyx 220 is a nice charger, a little more expensive get the 235 if you plan on using LiPo or LiFe batteries.
4) A good battery - Batteries that come with guns are generally not very good. Perhaps because they are always used in conjunction with wall chargers they don't seem to have a long life. Intellect makes good batteries, a backup battery is also always a good idea.
Don't worry about gear BDU's or pistols just yet, these things aren't necessary for you right now unless you can up your budget. Getting good quality essentials will quickly eat up $600, this is an expensive hobby. All you really need to play is eye pro, a gun, battery, charger, one hi-cap and bb's.
If you have a pair of cargo pants and a golf shirt or button-up shirt you can buy a $25 chest rig and pull off a good contractor look for cheap. No sense in wearing gear if you have nothing to put in it anyways. If you join a team you'll probably have to buy all your gear and BDU's over again because your team will most likely wear a different camo. Or you may find out that what you got doesn't work for you and you want something more suited to your style of play.
A pistol can be a useful tool in the right situation but most people probably get less than 5% of their kills with one. A pistol isn't necessary right away but before you buy one do your homework and get a good one *cough TM cough*.
What you should really do is, before you buy anything, find a game go out and meet some of the guys. Ask some questions see what they have, which weapons feel comfortable to you, what gear you think will work for you. Often times rental guns are available, post you are looking for a rental in the thread. This way you can get a good idea of what it's all about before you spend money on something you may regret later on.
Last edited by Kozzie; June 7th, 2012 at 02:13..