Agreed. Fly casting is, fundamentally, the creation of an energy wave, and transmitting it through the medium of the line, to carry the fly to the desired location. At least that's the plan.
I suggest heading down to Bass Pro/Cabelas with your budget in mind, and telling the man or lady that you want a five or six weight beginner setup. You ought to get out of there at around $250-$300 with all the bells and whistles. Seriously though, you ought to be able to get a completely satisfactory setup for under $150.
"have fun with this stuff"
in memory of Big Dale
RRhyne56, Flyfishing warden