I echo Teflon's welcome!
When I hear of economic efficiency two things come to mind...
1) there is some really good gear out there at low price points nowadays
2) if you buy at a certain level you will spend less in the end
Don't assume a combo is the right way to go, although it might be combos are put together to hit a price point so where you get the economy you might miss out on the efficiency. I think you'll find great rods in that range but the reels will let you down especially in saltwater.
Definitely include Temple Fork Outfitters in your short list, they are all about economic efficiency in flyrods.
When it comes to reels, if you want to start out with something inexpensive I would suggest that you find a used Lamson LP3.5 or LP4, a Scientific Anglers 8/9 or 9/10, or a Pfleuger medalist. You won't fish these reels forever but they will get you through some great times.
S/A 8/9 - don't drop it or the die cast construction will crack. Lamson - keep it out of the water or the drag may slip. Pfleuger - wash it really thoroghly and keep it lubed. Practice using your palm to slow down big fish, keeping your knuckles out of harms way, the drag is not very strong.
Economic efficiency to me is a Danielsson reel. It costs a few hundred dollars but it's machined from a single block of aircraft aluminum, has the best sealed drag system I've ever used that hardly needs palming (but I do anyway), requires such little maintenance and looks awesome. But I upgraded through a whole pile of rods and reels to settle there. If I only knew then what I know now I would have bought at this level from the very start and saved a pile of money!
Good luck and hope to hear of your successes as your adventure develops.
IFFF Certified THCI @ 2005
Capeflyfisher Guide Service
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