First. The focus of any equipment I try to get people to buy is focused on keeping them playing. LEts face it, if your stuff doesn't work then does it matter how good it shoots or how cool it looks. Tippmann is the best company for this. With most of their equipment being made in the USA the quality control is great. They also have good service on the other side if you have an issue.
Second. Despite what people think, I don't want you spending all your hard earned money on a new gun. If you don't have money left to play, what is the point. I'll ask someone "where have you been?" And they say " bought a new gun a month ago and had no money left to play" And I'm thinking to myself I played with a rental last week.
Third. Spend money on the right stuff. #1 a good mask. #2 pack and pods if you like to shoot lots of paint. #3 a good barrel if you are going to buy a gun in the future that also will work on a rental. #4 Save a get gun, hopper, and tank at the same time.
Paintball has reused the same ideas on many pieces of equipment. For example when ramping came out everyone thought it was a new idea. About 7-8 years before that the Shocker 4x4 had almost the same thing. New low end guns come in new colors and new names with low quality and higher price tags.
Buy local. This helps in many ways. It helps keep fields open because they make money. And because most fileds are about keeping you playing and don't want to sell you equipment that has you sitting on the sidelines they will lead you the right direction. Nothing is worse than "I just bough this on the internet and it does not work".
Watch out on used equipment. Some are good deals and some are waiting to be someone elses problem. Many older guns are hard to find parts for or the are mpore than the gun is worth. Also pricing can be way off. A $1000-$1500 setup that is 8 years old is probably worth $150-$200 and tanks maybe be no good at all. And people that are out of it for a while will not realize the and keep telling you how much they paid for eveything.
Good luck and just keep playing paintball.