After having been a ham for years (like 12 I think) the stars aligned and I had enough money to buy an HF radio. After weeks of looking at eBay, all the catalogs, web sites, cocktail napkins, etc. I found a rig that I liked.
It wasn't TOO old, had all the features I could want (and more), and I could afford it. So thanks to Universal Radio I now own an Icom IC-746PRO with the matching PS-125 power supply.
I rounded out the shack with a Signalink USB and a USB to rig control cable (Chinese $3.00 from eBay).
I got coax, connectors, lightning arrestors, copper pipe, and a balun from Cheapham.com and I now have a shack.
The pipe went into a J-pole "Copper Cactus" in no time, tuned and ready in about two hours all said and done. (Really, what tuning?? Follow the directions and it works).
The HF antenna will be another post...