Thres a ton of free resources out there. Look at the first thread under the recording
forum and its loaded with links to free stuff. KVR and many others have a buttload of free plugins,
and theres several DAW programs that can be downloaded and used for free. Many of the free plugins
do just as good as your high end plugs. Its just a matter of finding the best within the rest of the not so hot ones.
I probibly have a thousand I've collected over the years.
You can also buy interface and DAW packages cheap these days.
They sell a Lexicon Alpha with Cubase LE starting at $59.