My CCNA will expire in 2006 so recently I have been considering upgrading to a CCNP. When I wrote my CCNA in 2003 I had access to a lab with several routers and a couple of switches which, I feel, helped very much with the comprehension of the material. Are there any suggestions on how I could gain access to Cisco equipment for studying purposes? Or is it better to purchase my own equipment. And if I do, what model number of routers/switches should I buy and how many of them should I buy? I remember when studying for the CCNA I was using Catalyst 1900s and 2500 routers. Will I require more modern equipment for the today's CCNP?
And as for written material I was planning on purchasing Cisco Press material, or more specifically "CCNP Certification Library (CCNP Self-Study642-801 642-811 642-821 642-831)". Will that suffice or are there any other suggestions?
Thanks ahead of time for all your help,