My supervisor at work is a Smokeaholic and I got the bug from him, in the interest of starting a new "hobby" off for cheap...I went the really cheap route.
I have a Brinkman "Smoke "N Grill" I got from Home Depot ($49), I have added a thermometer ($8) and a Maverick remote thermometer ($24). So for less than $100 I am in business. I've only smoked some chicken breasts (came out horrible) and several Tri-Tips (came out wonderful) and am totally hooked.
I have joined the forum to learn more and perhaps eventually upgrade to a lower hourly maintenance smoking setup, at least without breaking the bank. The chunk charcoal is great but the Brinkman requires quite a bit of monitoring to maintain correct temp ranges.