I went from this
While you absolutely can brew just as good of beer with precariously placed patio furniture supporting things that spew fire, for me, brewing became much easier and more fun when I took the plunge and had this thing welded up. It folds up and fits in the corner of my garage (22"x22"). Now, I just roll it out, unfold, and go. Setup is no longer a chore.
I'd suggest getting a few AG brews under your belt and experimenting with your setup before deciding what kind of system you want.