|M. David Peterson
I'm just noticing this comment now... Sorry for the delayed response!
I use various microphones, but the one I have come to appreciate the most due to its overall quality, and relatively cheap price tag, is the MXL 990 (ref: http://www.mxlmics.com/ )
I use the Yamaha MG10/2 mixing board, http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/products/mixers/mg10_2/index.html . The overall quality is good, and while there isn't a ton of onboard processing and effects, you can process the recording after the fact, so real time processing isn't really all that important, in my opinion. What the MG10/2 offers in terms of on-board sound processing is more than adequate for my needs. That said, I wish now I would have purchased one of the models which offered a USB connection, as this would make the overall recording of the output a *TON* easier. But thats really just a minor thing in reality, and with a ~$99 price tag, its *MORE* than sufficient for my needs.
As far as software is concerned, I have been playing around with various combinations. While I don't use my Mac laptop for much more than testing web apps and .NET apps via Mono, I have found that GarageBand does a nice job in regards to processing/editing the content. My *BIGGEST* complaint with GarageBand is that with version 2.0 (I understand this is different in 3.0, so I may end up upgrading, as the iLife upgrade is pretty cheap.) there is no way to export to anything other than "iTunes" which basically just outputs in AIFF format, of which you can then process with other software to create the MP3, OGG, and WMA formats.
However, the AIFF output from GB seems to crash Audacity [ http://audacity.sourceforge.net ] when you attempt to import it for some reason, so I have had to resort to burning the AIFF to a CD, to then import the resulting track from the CD into Audacity, which will then allow me to output as WAV, AIFF, MP3, and OGG. I then have to take either the WAV or the MP3 and process it with the free Windows Media WMA encoder [ http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx ] for the WMA version.
One important note: Audacity ROCKS! And its free, OSS software. It's tough to beat when what you are looking for is a simple, effective, audio processing package, that covers most, if not all of the needs of an average podcast/podcaster.
That said, the other package that I absolutely *LOVE* is Adobe Audition. [ http://www.adobe.com/products/audition/ ] A bit pricey [~$350 USD], but *WELL* worth the price tag. However, for the purpose of a simple podcast, it does tend to be a bit of overkill. Of course, I am about as amateur as amateur gets when it comes to dealing with audio equipment, hardware and software alike. So the reality has proven that as I have become more familiar with how to properly use the equipment, I have come to appreciate all that Audition has to offer. REALLY NICE piece of software.
The last piece of this that is MUST HAVE is the M-AUDIO Audio Buddy [ http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/AudioBuddy-main.html ]. Combined with my Mac laptop/GarageBand + MXL990 mic (you will need a decent portable mic stand and a "sound filter" (forget what they are actually called) that will filter the hard sounds (such as "P" sounds) fairly well) act as a PERFECT mobile podcast unit.
Hope this info helps!