I've been in and out of RC since I took a summer/christmas job at the local hobby shop back in college. I have planes, cars, monster trucks, boats and helicopters. If you can RC it, I've tried! Except a "drone." I need to get one of those.
My favorite new website is Hobbyking. CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! If you are running ground vehicles, I recommend it- Not sure about planes and helicopters yet because the prices are too good to be quality. I bought a RTR 4w 1/8th buggy for around $50 from them. Brushless, 2.4ghz and all! I had to throw a battery in it. Cheap battery connectors and radio systems. I can't say enough about their prices. You need to make sure you select all of your items from the same warehouse or else it will tell you that you can't add an item to the cart. I usually try to order out of US East warehouse in Arkansas, but they have a west coast warehouse as well. Most of their stuff defaults from their Hong Kong warehouse and you'll get the best deals out it, but it takes a while to arrive. When you look at your cart, check out the 99 cent deals that advertise around you (99 cent threadlocker!).
I recently built an RC power wheels for my son since he is only 7 months old. It's pretty awesome. I have a build thread in Other Vehicles. I've got a new gadget to add to it soon!
Having worked at the hobby shop, I will caution you about buying metal parts. Everything came with plastic Spur Gears and it never failed that someone would come in, bitching about how the plastic teeth wore down and the car won't go, ruined their day of play, etc... Then they said, I want a metal one! I would hang the $3 plastic gear up and pull out the $30 metal gears. They left happy, only to come back complaining that their gear box was crunching and grinding, eventually needing a rebuild. Plastic parts are often there as a FUSE and they will usually be the pieces easiest to replace. And they are cheap. Its not true in every case, but most of them.
I'll post some photos if I can remember!
96 Rodeo Build thread
70 VW bus turned camper
86 VW Diesel Golf
07 Frontier V6 6 speed
1999 4Runner Limitee- wife's
2004 Genuine Stella Scooter