Calibrate your monitor
In order to see the images presented on this website (and in the rest of the Web!) you need to have your monitor properly adjusted, at least in an approximate way. This prevents you from seeing the images either too dark or too light, which would deter from the photographer's intent.
In a correctly adjusted monitor, if you look closely you should be able to see 24 different shades of grey in the image above, one for each letter displayed. If one end of the bar appears to be of a single solid color, you need to adjust your monitor.
This basic configuration should be enough for you to look at pictures on your computer with minimum problems.
I don't usually write detailed opinions about cameras or lenses because the Web already has excellent resources on the subject. Accesories on the other hand are more tricky because their advantages and flaws can be more subjective. I have therefore written a few opinions on this type of equipment that I either have or had in the past. I have written these in Spanish for an Argentinean Photography forum, and because they are quite lengthy I have not had the time to translate them. Even if you can't read Spanish, you might still get some ideas from looking at the pictures.