I have been at this for a few years. My suggestion is to buy cheap Triple K leather to start with. When you decide to stay in CAS, buy from Big Ed in Tombstone. www.sanpedrosaddlery.com
The Colt SAA with eagle grips is just fine. I suggest you avoid cheap rifles, they aren't. Uberti or Marlin are about it at present. Taurus is working hard to break into the CAS market though.