I rented my first time out and was riding the Burton Cruzer with some worn out as bindings and boots. I decided that I was not going to settle for renting crap like that again for $35 a day and ended up buying my own stuff after visiting this site and getting info about the gear I was considering.
In the end, I ride a Bataleon Goliath, Rome Targa bindings and Vans Cirro boots all at the suggestions of forum members and personal research. I only get about 6-10 days a year being that I live in Texas, but the purchase was well worth the $600 I spent on brand new stuff. I have some of the best equipment out there, so I know it'll be reliable and will not hold me back from progression giving me peace of mind. Deals are out there, especially this time of year.