Without looking at what the others wrote bellow,..(I never do)..
There are several light kits that make for some great starter kits.. I use Alien Bees by Paul Buff/White Lightning.. and they are a darn good light for the money, especially with all their available accessories such as a portable power pack,..which would be great for you on your locations,...their grid set that comes in 10,20,30, & 40Âº spreads..that fit snuggly into either the 7" parabolic reflectors, or the "Lightmod" which can also hold a gel, + barndoors.. They have a very nicely made beauty dish,..and their heads feature a cooling fan, infinate power adjustment..not just full clicks but everything in between, a decent modeling light option, a good flash tube, a swivel clamp that is very easy to use, and a spring clamp to securely lock on speed rings from any sized soft box or otagon bank.....they are a bit cumbersome to get on, but once they are, they are staying on..
They are rated like 640 true watt seconds for the highest powered light, which is the "1600" model.....somehow they come up with that number for output but it doesn't mean anything,...and 640WS is quite a lot of power, even for outdoor lighting work..
I'd personally suggest..(on your budget) picking up 3 of the 1600 model Alien Bee lights, and some accessories.. The "Vegabond" powerpack comes in two types,...the 150, and the 300...the major difference is the recycle time is slow as hell with the 150,..but if your shooting style allows you to have several seconds of delay between shots, then that isn't a problem.. I have two of the 300's, and I enjoy them so much, that they have replaced my trusty Norman 400B light kits! The only thing is,...you shouldn't use the modeling lamps when they are powered by the Vegabond, because that continous light drains the power really fast.....but since you are shooting digital, it won't matter all that much.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
There are other light kits,...like Calumet's "Travel Lights" which are an offshoot of the "Bowens" lighting line, which accepts all the Bowens accessories,...and then Speedotron has a very nice system, but they cost a lot more..however, you can use the same accessories as their "Blackline" power packs do, which are much more powerful, and great for lighting up interiors..& larger banks of light from a longer distance away outdoors.....which is something to think about in the long run..
Well,...which ever you choose,.... best of luck to you! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]