I've said this before. Don't take other people's opinion as law. Rent, borrow or attend a workshop or show where the different types of lighting are used and try it for yourself. Every photographer has different needs and tastes. It's better to spend a little time and money to see for yourself what works best FOR YOU!
You don't mention if you're shooting film or digital, whether you will be shooting indoors and/or outdoors and what range of subject matter you'll be using these lights for. These are all to be taken into consideration.
Personally I'd recommend Speedotron for strobes and Lowell and Arri for hot lights. Other good brands are Dyna and Pro Foto. You can pick up a Lowell new for under $150. If you use film then either use a filter over the lens or tungsten balanced film. If shooting digital either use one of the built in color temp settings or Custom Balance with a grey card. Get yourself a stand and umbrella and you're good to go. Tip:but a spare bulb. Same if you go strobe, get a spare flash tube and modeling light.
All this stuff is usually available for rent locally if you're in any moderately sized city.
BEst of luck,