Anyone built a CCNP lab lately?

Have a question or want to start a discussion? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Wow, this group has become flooded with crap.

Anyway, I've decided I would like to try to put together a lab at home.
I'm currently taking CCNP courses at the local college, but the courses
are online only, and there are six students competing for rack time on a
single rack.

And today I had set aside the whole day to work on my labs, and the
entire campus is unaccessible. I'm guessing a backbone got sloced somewhere.

I'm overwhelmed with options for used gear.  Being new to this, I don't
have the hardware background where I can say "Oh, yes, I remember when
model B replaced model A and the features that were added at that time."

I'm looking at bundles such as this:

as well as individual devices.

The problem with this is that I can't find any definitive equipment
lists that agree.  Some say 12.0 IOS is fine, others say 12.4 is necessary.

If there's anyone left here and you can offer some insight, I'd
appreciate it.  If it looks like the $200 bundle in the above link will
do, I'll jump on it.  I know that a Layer 3 switch is required for
BCMSN, but I can forego that for now, given the cost.

Site Timeline