Fact: we know a thing or two about making podcasts. Anyone who's listened to the Crave Podcast will tell you we really "puts it down." For those of you not up on your trendy youth slang, that's code for "doing a rather good job."
Your voices, opinions, and insights will never be as interesting as ours, but if you fancy laying claim to second best, you could try getting your own USB podcast kit. We've just been fiddling with the Podcastudio from Behringer--respected makers of public address systems, amplifiers, and mixing consoles. We really like the look--and sound--of it.
The kit arrives in a large yellow box and consists of a UCA 200- 2/2 I/O USB audio interface, a dynamic microphone with tripod, 5-channel studio mixer with XLR input and mic pre-amp, a pair of stereo headphones, and all the cables and drivers you'll need to make it work.
It has manuals too, but we wouldn't recommend you bother with these. We spent about 20 minutes trying to decipher the instructions, but reckon we'd have more luck translating the entire Bible into hieroglyphics. In the end, we resorted to ramming all the pole-shaped things into the hole-shaped doohickies, installing the drivers and pushing all the icons in the Audacity software until something worked.
Once up and running, the sound quality is extremely impressive--near-professional, in fact. Just ensure the room you're recording in has adequate sound deadening--sticking a bunch of foam and egg cartons on the walls should do it--and you're sorted. The only drawback is that there's only one mic pre-amp, so you'll have to share unless you have a one-man show.
Mosey on over to IWantOneOfThose.com to buy your own for a reasonable 80 pounds, or about $159.