My sister texted me this: http://www.groupon.com/deals/midwest-homebrewing-chicago
asking me if this was a good deal. She already has a wine kit so it's sort of a wash for her for the ingredient kit and bottling bucket but it seems like a great deal, if even for a Christmas present for a friend.
My beginner kit cost well over twice that (though it included How to Brew and a glass secondary with no bottling bucket)
Not trying to pimp the company (no affiliation), I was just impressed with the cost. Home brewing seems like it is growing like crazy.