PIC16F877A is good for beginners, With almost all features which they need eg: i/o Ports, ADC, PWM, timers etc. In this blog I will tell you, how can you make a home setup for experimenting.
You need the following things
1. A computer with Serial Port and loaded with Windows98 or Windows XP (Old system is more better)
2. PIC16F877A ( only $5) or get it from microchip as sample
3. A 8Mhz or 20Mhz Cristal and 2Nos of 22pf or 33pf capacitors
4. One 7805 Regulator IC and a 9V Battery (See try to make a cheep power supply from old computers SMPS)
5. One breadboard
Now You can start