You can buy [register] a domain name for one to ten years. Better rate / more years. You can do this and do nothing with it. .com, .net, .US etc may each be a separate cost. You may find a slight difference in cost at different sites. They all get registered with the "official" database.
If you get a site that has great traffic, be sure to never forget to renew your registration. If it expires anyone else can then "steal" it by registering it.
If you create a website, outfits such as Go Daddy can host your DNA and redirect to your computer.
You'll get much better inputs from others when they get online.
If you asked in more than one forum, please be sure to check for replies in each.
I have thought about getting my own .com just for the heck of it I don't really have any business application. Have a permenant email, maybe a page in the future. Currently I use JUNO and I have ran across a forum that will not let me register as it recognizes it as a "free" internet account which it is not I subscribe. Anyway, I understand I can route a Yahoo account thru it somehow or something.
Any of you guys have these accounts and what all could a novice use one for?
Also, any recommendations on an affordable site? I hear a lot about GoDaddy.com.