Day-to-Day tools currently in my production pipeline:Ulead Media Studio Pro
DV Editing, day-to-day text overlays and quick/basic effects & compositingUlead DVD Workshop 2
DVD AuthoringAdobe Photoshop
Digital Matte, Digital Photo Processing & EditingAdobe AE Pro 6.0 Pro
Motion Graphics, 2D Tracking, blue/green screen compositing.WonderTouch ParticleIllusion
2D (Quick-n-dirty) Particle effects dvGarage 3dToolkit
Routine CGI modelling / animation and effects.Bryce / Poser
Misc. Basic 3D (landscapes, illustrations, backgrounds)RealViz Sticher
Panoramic / 360' photography HDRI Lighting models.RealViz Image Modeller
Photogrametry (quick modelling & texturing from photos)RealViz Match Mover Pro
3D camera tracking.Macromedia Studio MX
Website AuthoringWindows Media Encoder
Video for Web Encoding
Stuff I'm currently working on learning and integrating into the pipeline... SoftImage XSI Advanced
Hi-end CGI graphics and 3D effects.Alias (Kaydara) MotionBuilder
Motion Capture cleanup and character animation2d3 Boujou Bullet
Automated 3D camera tracking.Apple Shake
What can I recommend??
This really depends mostly on your interests, projects you hope to take on, skills you'd like to learn, and, of course, your budget.
If you are completely new to all of this it may be best to start out spending as little money as possible to dabble in different areas, learning through online study & practice to discover where you true interests lie.
For editing, Ulead MSP is one of the least expensive DV editors you can get with extensive editing functions as well as some special effects features.
For compositing, I don't think there is any better place to start out that with FXHome's Chromanator. I'm not a customer myself, but from what I have seen here on the site, it is a very powerful tool, very inexpensive, and many of the skills and techniques you can learn with this program are directly transferrable to more advanced applications if you choose to "go pro" someday.
3D-wise, Blender is a great free tool that will help you learn the basics. My experience has been that Cinema4D is the easiest professional-grade CGI application to learn, however the cost is pretty high, even at acedemic pricing.
Also if you're interested on throwing some pretty cool, splashy effects onto your videos, AlamDV is a great, easy and inexpensive option, just understand that the techniques used and learned are not particularly transferable to regular production work should you choose to make this sort of thing something more than a hobby in the future.
Hope this helps.