if you plan on being committed to playing and want a guitar that will last you, buy a standard fender stratocaster. strats are one of the most upgradable guitars out there. for $250 on ebay, i bought a standard strat then put in $300 humbuckers, $250 neck, new bridge and a bunch of other small tweaks. I ended with an incredible guitar for fairly cheap. as for wattage for your amp, 25watts should be more than enough for a beginner, although you might want a 65w-100w if you're going to be doing a lot of jamming with a band.