If you're looking to get in the hobby in general and don't have a strong preference for NW, I recommend getting into a cheaper hobby (especially out west where the scene is smaller) such as ACW or WWII.
Also, I recommend joining a unit before you do your buying. As I've said to everyone, the most important purchases will be your boots, hat, and your jacket. No matter what time period you're doing. Make sure you throw down the money to get higher quality of those, since those can make or break your impression (or your feet, in my case. I bought cheap ACW boots and they constantly eat my socks and absolutely wreck my feet. They're also falling apart.)