I am about 2 hrs east of you on hwy 14.
I am on the joes forums and have a lot of the parts collected for a 4x4.
The vast majority of people are running mach3 for machine software, and I think that the vectric series of software is probably the most popular and user friendly for CNC routers.
A lot of people start out with vcarve pro then move up to aspire. Of course, it depends on what you want to make exactly.
There are alternatives though, if you need to do it on the cheap.