Studio lighting is exactly like cameras:
1) you begin cheap and will buy, buy, buy..
2) you don't need to get expensive device to make nice pictures
If u don't know anything i would recommand to register in a workshop. I did this with Astin some years ago and it was very usefeful ( plus Astin is a nice guy ).
After that u can go to Ruby photo ( nice guys also ), buy one simple flash head with softbox ( around 400 dols ), one reflector and play with this.
Once you master that you can buy other heads ( rim light, fill-in ... ) according to ur needs.