The Blogher '06 conference is underway and day one was all about podcasting. There's a great entry on Blogher detailing the responses Elisa Camahort got when she asked many podcasters about equipment. I like the responses because they're almost all "nothing".
I've spent a lot of time "outing" these Snake Oil experts that are hawking their wares, books, and microphones for hundreds of dollars. I've always felt that a real podcaster wouldn't give that advice and I've been vindicated.
When *real* podcasters are asked what a fledgling podcaster needs for equipment the list contains free software, inexpensive mics, and whatever else you already have on hand.