I'm only about 6 months into printing and I went with a Creality Ender 3. It has been an amazing machine and continues to impress me. It has incredible capabilities for the sub $200 price tag (I got the DIY version). My only complaint about it is the small bed size but that is expected with this model and not something unforeseen. I knew it was smaller but the price was right. https://www.creality.com/creality-ender-3-3d-printer-p00244p1.html Ive been using Overture PLA filament almost exclusively because its the first brand I used and I haven't had any problems with it. https://overture3d.com/
As for software, I've been using Cura as my main slicer and dabbling with Meshmixer and Fusion 360. https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura http://www.meshmixer.com/ https://www.autodesk.com/campaigns/fusion-360-for-hobbyists
Currently printing the Do3D Iron Man Mk 85 (just started and very slowly) for cosplay. About 14hrs in .15mm layers (1 day 4 hr est total time) Just finished painting my Saw Cleaver from Bloodborne. This part was originally 8 separate parts. I would absolutely love to have another printer and an Ender 5 would make the Mk 85 go soooo much faster.