Definitely hit the last years gear section of your local shop, or you can wait a little longer till the '12 gear is dated (end of the seasonish)
I'd say around ~$600
$200-$300 for a board
$150 for boots (try on as many as you can and find the most comfortable)
$200 for bindings
These are high estimates, max budget for a entry set-up.
Now what kind of riding do you do? Do you like to hit jumps and rails in the park? Do you like to freeride, through trees, down steeps, powder etc. Or do you like to charge down and bomb the runs at mach speeds? A little bit of everything?