My little man is 4 months old and I have been cloth diapering him for the last two months or so. The best website I have found is cottonbabies.com you get free shipping on orders over $75 and odds are good that your 1st order will be at least that much! I got lucky, my mom and my aunt each gave me a dozen prefolds and my mom gave me 6 plastic pant covers, as well as several diaper pins. This really isn't enough, but I've managed to make it work. I can go about 3-4 days between washing the diapers and I wash the covers a bit more frequently.
Here's my system: my bathroom showerhead is a removable sprayer so my setup is in there. (If you don't have a sprayer, check the bathroom dept. in walmart. They have cheap ones for around $9 and it is definitely worth it! ) I have a diaper pail that I fill halfway with water and add a scoop of color-safe bleach (the cheap powdered stuff). After changing a diaper I take it to the bathroom, put on plastic gloves (mostly because I hate washing my hands a million times a day, I get the big yellow ones 2pair/$1 at a dollar store) and spray off the poopy goodness with HOT water and then put the diaper in the pail. I rinse them right into the tub because it's breastfed poop and can't clog the drain. The covers I rinse really well in the super hot water then hang them to dry, unless they are really gunked up, in which case I set them aside until several are funky and then wash them in the sink with hot water and a little dish soap. Sometimes I have to get down and dirty to get the poop out of the gussets by scratching it out with my nails. I'm sure there's a less hands-on approach, but I'm too lazy to figure it out and it doesn't gross me out. When the diaper pail is full (or if I only have a few clean left!) I haul the pail to my washing machine. I have another pair of gloves there because they're just so dadgum useful! I try and wring some of the water into the pail before tossing them into the washing machine, and then put them through a quick spin cycle. THen I wash them in hot water with detergent. I did some research on the "best" detergent to use for CDing and what works best for my diapers and wallet is actually the Aldi brand of detergent. I can't think of the name, but it's less than $3 a bottle and lasts a long time. To dry them, I just toss them in the dryer without a fabric softener sheet (fabric softeners are no good for diapers). When the weather is warm enough I plan on line drying them. Not only will that save energy but sunlight is supposed to do wonders for poop stains. I'm not too worried about stains since their purpose is to catch poop and no one even looks at them unless they're changing a diaper. But that's just me.
I use prefolds mainly because that's what I have, but even if I were to buy CDs I would stick with prefolds. (unless I had money to blow, then I want those bumgenius! they look awesome!) They do the job, are the cheapest option, and are simple enough to use. It only takes me seconds to fold all two dozen and with a little practice diaper changing goes pretty quick too. For diaper covers, I would love to try something like the bummis whisper wrap or proraps classic because they would be easier to take on and off than the classic nylon pants, but the nylon pants do a great job of preventing leaks and are by far the cheapest option. I've seen the snappi things but I'm not too thrilled by them. they need replaced every three months while my pins could last through several kids. Sure, there's a chance of pricking the kid (or yourself) but it's not like it's going to leave a scar. My mom cloth diapered all seven of us and we survived any accidental *** without any physical or psychological damage! With pins though, be sure to get the gerber brand or something equally trustworthy. Someone gave me a random no-name pack and they are actually so dull that they have trouble going through the fabric. I'm more likely to accidentally stab the kid with those than the sharp ones!
Oh yeah, and I would say you would need 6-8 diaper covers in a day. If the idea of rinsing and re-using covers grosses you out you may want plenty more than that. The number of diapers you need is actually kinda limited by how big your diaper pail is. I can fit about 1 1/2 dozen in mine which works out fine for me since I only have 2doz! I wish it held more though, because I would love to get another 2 dozen and only wash diapers once a week. I'm lazy like that. You could easily get away with a 4pack of diaper pins since they don't need changed often unless you want to wash them frequently (I never bother). They're cheap enough though that a second pack as back-up won't hurt. Plus they come in handy for random things.
Something I am also trying is cloth wipes. I had a flannel receiving blanket that I was given and would never use, so i cut it up and put them in a container of water with a little squirt of baby wash. Whaddya know, it worked great! I actually think they worked better than the store bought wipes because the fabric grabs the gunk better. Also his bum feels cleaner. I can get away with only using one or two max per diaper change. If you make your own (and it's not that hard at all) be sure to hem them in some way. I was impatient and used them after cutting them and they came out of the wash in a big knot! I had to cut them apart! I have several other flannel receiving blankets that I was given at my baby shower and plan on holding on to them in case I want to make more wipes later. The best part about these is it solves the problem of tossing disposable wipes. They end up in various trash cans and look kinda gross. With cloth you just rinse them with the diaper, if they even need rinsed, and wash them right along with everything else.
As for going out, I do use disposable, but I'm actually still using diapers I got at the baby shower (after 4 months! I'm so proud of me...). I haven't yet decided if I will buy more when I run out. Most likely not, but that's just because money is so tight for us right now. Be sure to keep a plastic bag in your diaper bag in case you need to change a cloth diaper when you are out. I was given a pack of the little blue scented ones, but could easily use a plastic shopping bag, or gallon ziploc.
Wow, sorry this went so long! I got carried away... Hope this helps you out!