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?
I have boots and bindings so really just looking for a board. I would prefer to be on the $200 side of your range.
I like to freeride, I don't like to go too fast(thats usually when I end up on my ass
) but eventually I would like to be able to go a little quicker but I think I'm a little past the mach speed age. Not really looking to hit any rails but once I can stay on my feet I'd eventually like to hit a few jumps, not really park type jumps but the smaller ones you see throughout the regular trails.