1. CamStudio. This is a nice free and open-source desktop video capture program. Make sure to use their Lossless Codec, and go with these settings:
Set Keyframes Every 30 frames
Capture Frames Every = 50 milliseconds
Playback Rate = 20 frames per second
Video codec: CamStudio Lossless Codec
2. Handbrake Video Transcoder. This will help you to shrink videos before uploading them to Youtube. It is free and open source. You can cut the size of a video 10x and it will still look & sound good.
3. A Blue Microphones Snowball USB Mic. About $65
4. An Acer Aspire 5742 Laptop (Core i3, 8GB RAM). I like this laptop for the following reasons:
- got it at Wal*Mart for $369 (plus $70 for the extra RAM)
- built-in number pad
- built-in high-def web cam
- gesture mouse pad
- hdmi output
- decent battery time
The only problem with it is the crappy built-in microphone, hence the Snowball.