I have a Bear TRX 300 compound bow that is getting some age on it now. I bought it as a package deal and have to say that the bow itself is a good unit. I have changed most of the accessories over the years (went to a drop away rest, brighter fiber optic sights etc. ) but the bow itself was a solid platform to build with and was more than useable the way it came from the store. I can shoot 4-6" groups out to 40 yards with it, and I've only killed one deer with it but it give a complete pass through at 15 yards.
The new Bear package bows appear to come with whisker biscuit rests and some other accessories that are nicer than what was included with mine. I think they are probably a pretty good value.
My recommendation is to buy a mid range quality package like one of the ones offered by Bear and then shoot the heck out of it. Learn to tune it, change accessories here and there and figure out what you like. You will learn alot and may find that you don't need, or aren't interested in some of the high priced high tech gear that everyone is raving about. More than likely you can keep the arrow rest, sights etc. you end up with off of that bow and install them on a new one if you decide to upgrade.
I wouldn't mind having a lighter weight, faster shooting bow, and I may buy a better one some day. I don't think I ever would have been able to pick stuff out and put one together without already having some experience though. I think its better to spend $500 and start getting experience than trying to spend a grand and choose equipment without ever having tried it before.
Fix it right the first time...
Use Baling Wire !