I would also vote staying away from Mr. Beer. I personally have not used it, but have been told by others they did not like what it made.
I have been homebrewing off and on for 10 years or so. I am by no means an expert though. I try to keep it relatively simple. I did switch over to All Grain Brewing a few years ago.
Coyote-1 - Definately get a nice sized brew kettle. Assuming 5 gallon batches (most recipies and kits do this ammount) and if you are doing it inside on the stove, I would say something that can hold at least 2.5 gallons with a fair bit of head space. This is also assuming you are doing extract brewing which really is a good way to start and can make some really great beer. You would basically boil the 2.5 gallons and when done pour it into your fermentor and add 2.5 more gallons of water or enough to get a total of 5 gallons.
For fermentors you can go either plastic or glass. I curently have glass carboy's, but plastic is good and less $$ to get started.
I typically try to use a secondary fermentor, and also think the are a good thing to do especially if you are bottling. If nothing else it helps clear the beer a little more.
Some other things to consider:
- Bottles, caps, and a capper (if bottling)
- Sanitizer (as someone else mentioned this is REALLY important) - I use Idophor (can be purchased from a homebrew supply place.
- Hydrometer - allows you to take readings to tell when fermentation is done and calculate the alcohol content
- A beer kit if you want to go that route - includes all the ingredients to make a certain type of beer and usually instructions
- A couple books to consider - "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian (sort of the godfather of homebrewing) and/or "How to Brew"by John Palmer
Hope that helps some. If I think of anything that I missed I will let you know. The nice thing is that you can start more simple and add on. I did that - my fist bit of equipment was a gift from my wife. Over the years I would ask for new things to "grow" at Christmas time (glass carboys, wort chiller, turkey fryer to brew in the garage, etc.)
If you do not have a local homebrew supply store Northern Brewer is a great place I have used. You can order online and have things delivered.http://www.northernbrewer.com/