When I was about 5 years old, I started playing around with a tape recorder. I don't remember how I got it, but I immediately was enamored by it. I'd pretend I was a dj, using my Fisher-Price record player to play my parents' albums. I'd record the radio. Sometimes, I'd just talk.
This was the way it was for pretty much my entire youth. The recordings would switch from dj-ing to just being stupid with friends of mine, or doing bizarre sketches with my little brother.
The laptop/PC changed everything.
You can hook up cheap mics, expensive ones, either way, you still get to record. And the FUN you can have with it...the amount of software out there is unreal.
Just recently, I bought a program called Soundplant (www.soundplant.org) that allows me to assign sounds to different keys on my keyboard. This is awesome. It helps immensely when it comes to recalling what voices I used for a character on the fly. When it comes time to start a podcast (someday, sooner rather than later), it'll be a great program for using drops/sound effects.
Audacity and Reaper are the big ones I use for my audiobooks. Audacity is easy to use, but Reaper has bountiful rewards, if you know how to use it.
Basically, what I'm saying with post is, that I love the tech, equipment, software that goes into this, and there's just not enough time and money in a day to play with it all. But it's definitely made my work a ton easier.