As a wood shop teacher I go through several routers and bits. I have switched over to 1/2" shank bits simply because they cut better and have less chatter or vibration. I get all my bits from Eagle America online. http://www.eagleamerica.com
As for Routers, I use Porter Cable 690 series routers. They are rather inexpensive and durable. I have around 16 of them in the shop as of now in different router tables. I use routers a lot, I have 4 in a big table that is set up for making raised panel doors. I have 3.5 hp router on the panel shaping bit that works well. I find the 690 routers on sale from time to time for around $100. The reason I buy all the same is so I can switch them out from table to hand held D-Handle base easily.
I have bought a few of the routers off EBAY over the years. I was able to find them from http://www.grizzley.com
for around $100 a few months ago.
Rockler wood working is good for some things, but have to watch a budget, I have found things cheaper at other places like my local Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe's stores. They are good places to start for looking.
690 Router takes both 1/4" and 1/2" bits and is what I like the most. I have used others but I think I will stick with them for awhile.
Costal tool has good deals from time to time also.http://www.coastaltool.com/a/port/pr690_system.htm
Good luck with your search. Woodworking is a great hobby.