Since new shooters will (hopefully) use the search function, I thought I'd say here what has been said over email.
Black Walnut told me that he wasn't interested in shelling out the cash for a full-blown setup. I told him that that was cool, and gave him a few alternatives. As I think about it more, there are even more alternatives than what I gave him.
Low cost alternatives for a good Highpower setup:
Common bolt action rifle, with some type of sights, with an ad-on clip guide. Aperture sights are preferred. Adjustable apertures are best.
1903A3 rifle Has everything except great accuracy. Good enough though. Glass bed if you can affor it.
Old Mauser with irons (preferrably aperture) sights. (clip guide intact) Again, glass bed it.
M1 Carbine (reduced course matches only)
Any of the Service Grade CMP M1 Garands...The Danish models often have better barrels. Most Service Grades can get you into Expert class, believe it or not. If you can spend a bit more,m send it off to Hook Boutin or Clint Fowler for accuracy work. Hook is VERY good, and is also working on a 1950's economy, so it'll cost you peanuts for the work.
If you already own an AR rifle, use it. If it is an A2, even better. If you can afford about $500, get the Rock River "DCM" legal upper. Their uppers are really accurate, and you won't have to worry about the float tube. Other manufacturers have very thin and weak tubes, and crappy sights.
Triggers: If you need a good trigger, get the Rock River 2 stage and then send it to John Holliger for his tune up. That only costs $25 more and is absolutely worth it.
Equipment is divided into "absolute must haves" and "nice to haves."
Absolute Must Haves
Sling. The cheapest is the M1 Garand Cotton Web sling. They should run about $4-$10, and with the exception of rot or rust, the older the better. Many High Masters LOVE this sling.
Spotting Scope. The Pro Optic scope from www.adorama.com
is a good "cheap" scope, based upon reports form the field. IT is not waterproof, so just keep that in mind. $109 The Champion's Choice scope is a good scope, and runs about $200. It is not waterproof, either, I believe.
Spotting scope stand. I know, you would think a camera tripod would work...it won't. You need somthing to hold the scope at 6' and 3" all without getting in your way. There are many home-grown designs for this, and you can make whatever you like. No one in HP is going to laugh at you, for sure. One of the cheapest and best stands is the Jim Owens stand. It runs $125 new, but you can find them for $75 used. The Freeland stands work well for smaller scopes, but due to their bipod design, they will tip easily with a heavy scope on board. These are also about $75 used.
Nice to Haves
Shooting mat. An old piece of carpet will work well.
Glove. An old winter or work glove will work ok.
Cart. The "bucket seats" work well for a newbie moving his gear around. Also, you can use a wheeled trashcan. Don't laugh, I've seen it! A child's wagon, with side stakes, also works well.
Shooting coat. A winter coat will suffice, but the coat from wwww.gpmaes.com is a vast improvement. $58
Don't forget that many places will carry used equipment. Champion's Shooter Supply, Neil Johnson's gunsmithing, and OK Weber all have used equipment items that can save you some money.
Good luck in your endeavors.