As far as a lens, I have done a lot of research and really want to go with the 24-70mm L series for canon. It is supposed to be great and the aperture is a 2.8. The only problem is that it is just over a thousand dollars. Ultimately I would like to build up to a 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200. 24-70 covers a good portion of the middle ground. I have also heard the 50mm with a 1.4 is good and costs roughly $300 but can be a little limiting because of the fixed length. Adorama seems to have the best deal on the 24-70. Good luck.
As someone who has really enjoyed the rangefinder systems (in addition my to my Nikon D70), I'd recommend a nice prime lens (non-zoom). You are able to get good low-light speeds, like the 50mm John mentions, and I've gotten used to not zooming in and out. You get to focus more on framing, lighting, and composition. Besides, $300 might tide you over until you can get that $1000 lens later.
The 50 1.4 is the best in that price range for opening up the aperture. If you want that same range in a telephoto you are looking at paying $1000 or more. Which for a good lens is not bad, but budget wise it is rather expensive. Sometimes Canon had good promotional deals where they give 100-300 dollar rebates when you buy lenses, keep an eye out for these when buying a lens.As for tripods I'm a fan of Bogen. If you get a chance to go to Calumet they do have a good selection of tripods you can take a look at.
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