Please give me your thoughts.
I started off very much the same LOL. However my wife set the ground rules so it was easy for me. There were to be no chemicals put in the hive. The problem with LJ's advice is that if you go to another beekeeper to buy honey you will have no proof what was put in the hive.
My advice to you is that you could very easily get hooked on bees. It has happened before.
Let's say you are going to think of this endeavor as a hobby and spend 300 for the initial equipment. Figure that as money spent ... it's a hobby. So if you have to buy bees every year that costs around 150 bucks a season. That is only 15 jars of honey which is about what we eat directly every year. So the worse thing that could happen is that you have to buy a package each year but it really doesn't cost you anything because you are going to get at least 15 jars a year.