One of the first jewels of wisdom my dad gave me, that didn't have to do with the birds and the bees, was "Buy first what you'd buy last. You'll save money by avoiding upgrades." I have used that bit of wisdom for just about everything I've ever purchased from cars, motorcycles, telescopes, computers, you name it. It might take me a little longer to make the buying decision but by the time I do I know I have something that will last me a long time. In the process I've learned to enjoy the research, avoid paralysis by analysis, and to build the anticipation. When I finally slap down the dough I never have buyer's remorse.
If you just want something to learn on, heck, for $50-60 you can pick up a used 22" Weber Kettle on Craigslist, a couple fire bricks from Home Depot to use as a firebreak, a bag of charcoal, a bag of wood chunks, a cheap thermometer to stick in the vent, and you can be smoking. My baby steps into smoking weren't that much different than what I just described.
Shop, research, ask questions, save, buy what will fit your needs not your ego or the neighbor's. SMF is a fantastic resource and people are passionate about their equipment, fuel, recipes, weather, bourbon, pets, friendships, and just about anything else that can be tapped on a keyboard. Don't be shy. Ask, ask, ask.
BTW, the smoker is just the TIP of the smokeberg. Once you have the smoker, then come all the thermometers, probes, gloves, claws, knives, rubs, storage containers, chimneys, windbreaks, bakers sheets, drip pans, yada yada yada. It is amazing how you can use your smoker as a reason to NEED something. You don't need it all, but this smoking thing is addicting! It's all fun!
Welcome to SMF!