Boozer's thread "starting over" is current, he asked a similar thing. Lot of good info there.
I agree used can be good, except usually people don't want to sell their best stuff. But stick with it, you can get good gear on the cheap. I don't think I've ever bought a used rod, but I've sold a few really good ones over the years.
flies: don't leave home without a #14 float-n-fool