go to the 'ask a fisherman answers' and 'bass' look thru a few pages and you'll find some previous threads.
Baitcasters are by far more accurate and generally have more drag than spinning reels. You definetly get what you pay for. Do not start off with a cheap one. Save up until you can afford a good one. I recommend that you go to your local stores, look for ones in the $150-200 range, put some on a good rod and see what feels good in your hands. Then go to ebay and find some steals. I usually get brand new stuff for around 1/2 of retail. I prefer the Pflueger Supreme or Patriarch. I've used dozens of different kinds and these are the best bang for your buck.
Start off with a 6'-61/2' MF or MHF rod.(you can start with a cheaper rod and upgrade later)
Do Not use braid. Start of with a good 12-14# mono like sufix. As it is far easier to get the backlashes out...and you will be getting backlashes. Just plan on spending hours and hours in the back yard. Try to find someone to show you the basic technique, tackle shop, BPS, boat ramp, ect.... then Practice,Practice,Practice.