Everyone (lifelong riders from my church) recommended I get a cruiser from the 80's, as they were VERY well built in that decade and they'd also be affordable to me. The bike only cost me $1300, and is a great machine that should last me a good while.
The whole reason I got a motorcycle instead of a car was the affordability of them. Insurance is only $200 a year for a new rider. Car insurance for me would be about $120-$150 a month!
Nothing yet. I've been able to avoid rain thus far. I plan to buy Frogg Toggs once I save up $60. They're a rainproof jacket and pants that you can just slip on over your clothes and shed when you arrive where you're going. What's especially nice about them is that they look like a normal outfit, rather than some crappy plastic tarp suit.