The way I started out, kind of like you. I bought a kit from www.stepperworld.com. It had the stepper motors the controller and a power supply. There are cheaper ways out there. But if you are not that good with soldering your own board, then your better off getting a complete controller, motors, power supply. If you do go with the stepper world one go with his FET kit the sp3-ht is going to be slow and you will get discouraged real quick!
You can check out www.hobbycnc.com to he has some good stuff.
I am now using a www.Xylotex.com board and I bought his power supply to. I already had some stepper motors, but at the time you could buy those off him to. For the money I don't think you will be able to buy a bipoler chopper drive anywhere for the price Jeff sells his for ($125). I am very happy with his service and his product. Also another good thing with that board is you do not need power resistors. As you will with the stepperworld or hobbycnc boards. The xylotex has pots on the board for each axis. You stick a multimeter to them and turn them to the right voltage for your motor. A very simple task!
Like I said his service is awesom too. Everytime I email him with a question, It seems like he is sitting right at his computer and I get a really quick responce. That right there is worth the money.