I've never really been a "strobist" even though I use flash frequently (on camera and off camera held by hand) to get the photo I want. My focus has always been in composition and exposure rather than being creative with light. So I wanted to try it out but on a very shallow budget. Did a lot of research and discovered that $$ doesn't go very far in terms of quality... local camera shop selection of "kits" for a shallow budget is complete crap.. to put it lightly. Wobbly stands, small umbrellas... After some research this is what I ended up with: Two Lumopro air cushioned stands One Silvered lined umbrella One Soft white with removable back umbrella Two Umbrella brackets 1 Cactus V2s transmitter 2 Cactus V2s receivers. 2 PC to hotshoe adapters. Two Sunpak 422D With the exception of the Sunpak flashes the kit cost about $230 (incl shipping). The flashes were purchased from a camera swap for about $20 each. I just got it yesterday and took a few test shots of stuff around the house. I am VERY surprised with the quality of the stands and umbrellas given their low price. The stands blow away (in terms of quality) anything I saw locally in the same price range. They are taller and more stable than the common Bogen 001B equivalents even though they are longer when collapsed. The main support and legs are tubes rather than cheaper pressed bent metal. They are also air cushioned which is a nice feature as well. The Umbrellas are equal in quality. They are nice 43 inchers and double fold down to 15. The silver one works really nicely with the relatively lower powered flash packs. The cactus units are not at all impressive looking BUT they do work. In the short time I used them, they triggered reliably. I was shooting about 15 feet away from them and they still triggered. They do have a hotshoe built-in but the make for an unstable perch for your heavier flash packs. I suspect that the cheap plastic bodies wouldn't hold up well over to the weight of an attached flash pack. As such, I highly recommend purchasing PC to Hotshoe adapters and hanging the cactus units to the side instead (connected via their external PC connector). The Sunpak 422D have been in my possession for a while now.... used with my rangefinders and older cameras. The "D" version have lower trigger voltages and I like the power adjustment slider on the back. Makes for adjusting the flash from FULL to 1/16th power quick. The only issue is that they don't have a zoom head. The "kit" was purchased from MPEX.com with the advice read from www.strobist.com. I highly recommend both sites. Shipping was quick and easy via ground. Just sharing my new purchase for those considering the same path. I'm hoping to try them out a bit in a few days.. assuming I can get time off and a subject (wife is camera shy and my kid moves too much.. hehehe lol). The only thing missing is a bag. I thought I can use my duffel bag but I didn't realize that the stands are too long to fit. oh well.. I'll probably through a strap sling them over my shoulder.