why are boots so spendy and tho they matter from brand to brand that match with bindings and snowboards?or do they all have to be same brand
do step in bindings suck?
Most boards and bindings will automatically work together. If you do want an EST board and regular bindings (or vice versa), they usually have conversion kits for most of the companies . On the other hand though, you're pretty much getting rid of the point of getting an EST board...
Step in bindings are really love them or hate them. A lot of people love their flows and have no problems taking them all over the mountain, while others feel they don't provide the response you need. Given you don't have a lot of money, I'd go with traditional bindings before experimenting with that. You can find last year's bindings for cheap, so definitely could find it under or around $100.
Boots should probably be first to buy... if you can, go to a store and try them on. It's gonna be tough with your budget, but you might be able to get some cheaper ones that you still like (poor boot fit sucks).