Huglover has done a very nice brief intro about equipment up there ^
If you're looking for more, there is a Newbie FAQ at the top of the Newbie Board which contains some information about this. Also, if you dig through the Newbie Board you will find numerous posts about almost anything and everything you could possible want to know about equipment. Try the Sleuth Community Sites (link from City Hall) for yet another perspective on this varied and perplexing subject.
And finally good luck, and happy sleuthing.