When starting out it is best to get razors that are shave ready, it just saves you time and frustration at getting started. However some of you may be like me and don't listen or follow advice as closely as one should... or just impatient to get into it lol. My first razors where ebite specials and I worked on them for a long time only to find I was comming up short. Sure my knife sharpening skills helped me greatly at learning to hone a razor but that was only the begining of the whole learning curve for honing. Once I got a truely shave ready razor I was able to see the difference between my work and where it needed to be. I quickly was able to get my blades where I wanted them. That is why we always suggest getting shave ready razors first, so you know where a blade needs to be and how it feels when shaving.
Once you have gotten used to shaveing with a straight and you start working on your own edges, as I'm sure most of you will, you will basicly start all over again... Straight Razor shaving is not only a life style but an art in the sense that there is no one way to do it all. Everyone is different and how they shave, hone and choose equipment is all different. You will start noticing that your attracted to different aspects of shaving and you'll notice the slight variations in all the equipment. These things are not important when starting but will later when you have it figured out.
One such example is in finishing stones or the use a pastes and such on leather. You will notice a distinct difference between a shave off Cr02 vs diamond paste, natural stones and synthetic stones. None of these are right or wrong, it's personal preference... Remember that "Art" thing I mentioned
I'm hoplesly addicted to vintage blades, I only own 1 "new" razor, all the rest are vintage blades and most came off ebite or antique shops. Buying these kinds of razors is problematic at best as you never really know what your getting till you get it home and work with it. Antique shops are the best places to get your hands on a blade before you buy and this cuts down the risk. However you still have to know allot about what you buying to or your going to buy allot of paint scrapers... And there is just to much info needed to know for me to list here.
Lynn's DVD is really the best "insurance" you can get for starting out. Lynn goes over just about everything you need to know when starting out... but watch out for the part about his collection... most people who suffer from RAD caught it at this point in the dvd
There is much good info already posted above, and with Rick's links you should be able to get an idea of what you need to start.
Aslo if you would like to PM me with questions, feel free I've been shaving and maintaining my own razors for about 7 years now and have more than I can count, but not more than many lol. My collection is 99% user only razors.