You can begin podcasting with just a computer and a microphone. There are lots of cheap desktop mics available at The Source or Future Shop that will be fine to test your wings with. If you get more serious, for desktop recording, I'd suggest the Apex 435 Condenser Microphone. I got mine for $60 in Toronto and Long and McQuade. For field recording, lots of folks use the Sony ECM-MS907 Stereo Microphone.
If you get more serious about desktop recording, you can add a mixer. I use the Alesis MultiMix 8USB, but there are lots of sub $300 mixers out there.
Here's a pic of my podcast rig. Other folks in the rpn use all sorts of different setups. Lisa Rundle uses an iBook with the Sony mic above patched into via a iMic. Chris Cavanaugh, over at Comeuppance, uses an iTalk mic plugged into his white iPod. All sorts of combinations work.
If you'd like to do a podcast for the rpn, please contact Charlotte Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions, just drop me a line a email@example.com
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