I would stay away from any of those combo packs that come with pods, tank, mask, etc on top of the gun. Usually what they give you is junk, specifically the mask, and you're going to want to replace it right away. So save your money and build it yourself. I'm relatively new to paintball by a lot of players standards. I've been playing for about 5 years now and you sound like me when I first started at 20. As everyone has said, pistols, bows, things like that are more novelty items. You should, for now, even stay away from a pump. Unless you're going to be playing with other pump players. It can improve your game, but first you need to develop some basic skills sets before you go and handicap yourself in a regular game.
You want a solid gun to build your "awesome" skills on and you're not going to do it with those as a new player. The type of markers you want really depends on simply what makes you happy. Something that looks like a gun, or something that looks like a laser. Or something in between. The rule of thumb is, the more your marker looks like a real gun, the less it will perform like a paintball marker. What I mean is, when gun hits count, why do you want a bigger target? The sights, scope, bi pod, fake magazine, etc only add weight and a target to mark. I'm a hardcore woodsballer myself and I know how awesome they can look. But a lot of people start off like that (like myself) and slowly, as you build skills and knowledge of the game, realize that you're getting better but in some ways your gun is holding you back. And although I wouldn't call it money wasted (you did, will and would have had a blast with them), you could just skip that whole awkward phase and go straight into skill building, rather than gun building. BUT again, if that's your thing, nothing wrong with that. More power to you if you play with a group of like minded people.
Now its the PLAYER, NOT the marker (or equipment), and plenty of people swear by their Tippmann "Ak". But a big target vs a little target is still a big target vs a little target. Little things you can adjust can help improve your game. Lightening your load by losing the heavy vest with extra pockets you fill with crap (or not at all) down to a pod back or a light weight harness (which is what I use) can give you a boost of speed and stamina for example. Though a big vest load out has its place, such as at a big game taking place over the course of a day or so. And having a smaller profile means the difference between a near miss (and you're still in the game) vs a hit (and you're out) because someone tagged you in the fake box magazine with real bullet casing that does nothing. It can LOOK amazing and can be fun to play with. But in a regular group of players (rather than with a bunch of like minded milsim type players), you're going to be at a disadvantage.
I started off with a Tippmann 98 (which you probably used for a rental) decked out to look like a battle rifle. It was long, awkward and at times down right heavy to play with all day. But I had fun with it, got people out, and that's what counted. BUT, time went on and I lost weight, got in shape, gained speed and stepped up my game. I took off everything that wasn't needed (the stock and red dot for example). I lightened my load out, sold my pistol (never used it, but it with all the mags was a LOT of unneeded weight) and it improved my game a lot just by doing that.
Vs how compact I've made it for my girl
I moved on to the X7 Phenom. A much better performer vs the 98 and a bit more compact as well. But still had it's share of extra bulk to it by default. Despite the fact that I swore to never add useless things to my markers again, you just can't help it with a Tippmann lol. Started off pretty light and compact, ended up going backwards after I found a deal on the mp5 parts I couldn't pass up. But again it was fun to play with and a head turner in the staging area.
Now my current set up is a GoG G1 (which someone recommended earlier in this thread). It fits my wants and needs perfectly. It looks "gun-ish", which I like. I don't want something that looks like a laser gun, I want something that feels military. That's why I play, that's MY enjoyment in this sport. Everyone is different. BUT it has the performance to back it up. Multiple fire modes, tons of settings to adjust to your liking, consistent and accurate even with the stock barrel. It doesn't really have anything useless on it. It's light, compact and it rips with my V-max Loader on it feeding it (capped by me) at 15 bps. Most of all, I don't feel handicapped up against good speedball players. Which was important to me. Because I can bring this marker in tight no matter what angle I'm playing. Something that was hard to do with the X7 because of how the hopper is off on the side like that.
As for a mask, I still have my V-force profiler which have only been improved upon since I bought it (you can buy, or I think they might come with, a better lens now). It was a GREAT mask which I keep for my girl to use now or any one else who wants to come play. But what I'm using NOW is an Invert Avatar which I DO swear by has it has NEVER fogged on me once. Not in extreme heat or cold. It's large, comfortable and breathes well. Plus it comes in matching camo for the rest of my gear.