I think that $600 to gear up is a bit steep.
I got a vest and some surplus army BDU's at the Stouffville market for $35 + $25
Face mask w/ removable goggles at Hero for $30
I made my own leg holsters (with the help of a rivet tool) out of a $10 multitester pouch from Home Depot and a couple of Velcro straps from Dollarama.
With gear you can be original and creative, and save a bundle.
Don't be scared off by the die-hards, they just want us noobs to know our place and give them due respect!