I bought a kayak on Friday. Specifically, a Perception Eclipse Sea Lion. It looks like this one, except mine doesn't have a rudder. I got it used for $300 from the UC Aquatic Center at the Berkeley marina. Then I promptly ordered $500 worth of accessories from REI and Sierra Trading Post (spray skirt, wetsuit, paddle, paddle float, bilge pump, car carrying kit). That's a lot of money, but it's cheaper than a half-way decent bike (I've been thinking about a Trek 520, Jamis Aurora, or Novara Randonee touring bike for a while, but I guess I'll hold off for now).
Two things that I pretty much knew, but which were strongly impressed upon my mind immediately upon purchasing: (1) kayaks are really long and fit neither in the bed of a Ford Ranger nor through a normal hallway, and (2) owning a kayak necessitates owning a car. I guess I'm fine with that since I can currently accommodate both of those issues. I decided to buy it because the UC aquatic center closes for 3.5 months in winter, and when renting from them you're not allowed to go very far (or go camping). Also, I'm reasonably confident that $300 is a fantastic deal, so I can re-sell the kayak perhaps at a profit if I were forced to.
Anyway, hopefully within the year I'll be paddling out to Angel Island or camping at paddle-in sites on Tomales Bay, and within a few years watching whales breach ten feet away off Baja's Isla Espiritu Santo or in Alaska's Kenai Fjords (or better yet, putting that together into one long trip), or going down the Yukon from source to sea (or better yet, putting all three together into one long trip).