I started with the Lee Classic Turret press and I am very happy with it. I knew I would be upgrading if I started with a single stage. Lee makes a package kit that includes most everything you need except the dies, reloading components, and a caliper that I think I paid around $250.00 for. I figured I have already made that money back with the reloads I have done this past year.
When I first started reloading I would check each round for the right amount of powder on a electronic scale and the OAL with a caliper. Once I felt things were running smoothly I would check every other one and so on. You also can visually check the amount of powder in the casing, if it doesn t look right weight it.
I don't see myself moving up to a progressive press because there is just too much going with each station doing a different step for each round, so to me it is hard to keep an eye on everything. With being very cautious with my reloading I just dont completely trust the equipment to do everything right every time.
I have been doing all handgun reloads, 380 auto, 9mm luger, 45 ACP, 38 spc, and 357 mags. I just started doing .223s for my M&P15.
It is a great hobby but there is a lot to learn and it seems like there is always another piece of equipment to add to your collection. If you cant find an answer to a question after doing some research dont be afraid to ask. I say that because people seem to be more willing to help if you first made an effort to find out yourself.
Have fun and be careful.