Actually - go crazy buying toys. The more the better. I make a lot too. Toys should be rotated often to keep them interested. Also, make sure to get more perches than what the cage comes with - preverably different sized ones so they can excersize their feet. You can get ones made out of branches which work great!
I didn't read through the whole post but I'd recommend a cockatiel for a first time bird. They're social, LOVE attention and cuddles, can be trained to speak a little (obviously just mimic) I have a male cockatiel that I have to find a new home for, if you lived in Oregon I'd sell him to you, my boyfriend's cats want to eat him. :(
Yes, they definitely seem like another big expence, that's why I haven't taken the plunge and gotten one...yet!! Between all the dogs, 2 cats, and 4 horses, I just can't justify buying something else to spend more money on, lol!!
If you make perches out of branches make sure you properly sanitize them first and get all the bugs out. Cooking them in the over for a little while works usually, but you gotta do it right, sometimes soaking them in bleach is another good way