Kaoss pad good for filtering drums etc...
Microkorg is o.k. for pad/string type sounds. Not too much of a lead instrument or for bass.
Waldorf is good. I just picked up a Waldorf pulse rack synth. Sick beast with many capabilities. Look for something used on ebay/craigslist. Don't get something cheezy. You want to create your own unique sounds, not using patches that everyone else has access to!!!
Gear is the way to go if you can do that