Thanks to all for making me welcome by responding to my first post! It's interesting to hear where it all started for people. On reflection, it started for me before I could afford anything at all. As a teenager I could be found in the newsagents eagerly thumbing through the hifi mags (but not buying them, much to the annoyance of the newsagent). I can still be found doing something similar (though I am more likely to buy the mags now).
...a Garrard SP 25 Mk 3 with a Goldring G800 cartridge, an Amstrad Integra 4000 amp, and some awful no-name speakers. Yes, I was starting at the bottom (though I did convince myself at the time that everything sounded great!) Very pleased to join Stereonet and I hope to contribute to some of the discussions as time goes by.