December 16, 2005
It's been my experience that to make finished chocolate that you'll really be satisfied by at home you will need to invest in some equipment (probably around $300-400usd), but other than that it's not an expensive process (if you discount the value of your time :-)
Of course, if you just want to make a rough chocolate, all you really need is a way to roast and a mortar and pestle--very back to basics, and that can be a nice experience as well!
August 6, 2006
Eleven years old Amy Singh made her own real chocolate bar using budget equipment.
You could be inspired by her presentation at the NY Chocolate Show:
"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
That is a fantastic presentation, and hobnobbing with Pierrick and Robert is not a bad start! :-)
Here's another site for the home chocolate maker that has some good info and interesting methods: