Thanks for the recommendation! I think I'm going to wait a month or 2 now. Apparently Intel is going to be releasing a new processor. Another thing to look at is the coming release of products with Thunderbolt 3, which will be twice as fast as it's predecessor. This however, could be end of the year or even next year.
For an idea on a short, try reverse engineering your script. Start with places and people you know you can use and expand from there. The best part of where your located is that you have an extremely diverse city(especially in terms of locations) 40 minutes away from you, but then you've got the wide range towns and smaller cities in between. Not to mention that if you go 30 minutes in the other direction, you run into farmland and some large national park areas. Offer your services to local businesses (making videos and taking photos for their websites) and charge them for your time, but also broach them on using their business for your short(s). While your doing those, talk to the people you run into; you'd be surprised the stories and past experiences people are willing to talk about with a complete stranger.
Overall, it's a lot of work, but you gain so much in return; experience(obviously), locations that possibly no one else has access to for filming, a base of businesses that can refer you in order to possibly grow your business that pays the bills(and for new equipment), inspiration for your projects from your conversations with people, and finally you may find people who are willing to help you both on and off the set of your future projects.
I have a pair of Aputure Amaran 528C's. They are weaker(498 LUX at 4 ft) because the LED panel is half daylight and half tungsten. However, they are about the size of an iPad and although one unit requires 2 sony npf style batteries in order to work, a huge plus is that if the light is plugged into a wall outlet, it will charge the batteries while working off of power provided by the outlet.
They also offer 528W(wide)(985 LUX @ 4 ft) and 528S(spot)(2220 LUX @ 4ft) and those come with a tungsten filter you can add on.
Here's a page on Aputure's website with a few reviews:
Wouldn't bother with the light storm 1/2 just yet. Batteries(both v-mount and gold) would blow your budget, so you'd be restricted to just AC power. I would probably just get a 672s so you have relatively consistent light sources to work from. Don't forget you'll need 2 batteries per 672 light.
Tascam DR-60 Mk2 or DR-70 are great for under camera or throwing on an articulating arm that can attach to your tripod.
I have an NTG-2 and it great with the DR-60 Mk-2. I've also just started working with the RodeLink wireless lav system, which so far has worked very well.