If you get your models used or off ebay you can get them for like a quarter of the price. I never buy 'em full price. It's a complicated game but when you get experienced it becomes fast and really fun.
nah, the nearest is in the city centre which is too far away to be worth bothering, plus i spend all week traveling in and out of city centre to go to work so kinda sick of it, but a good suggestion nonetheless
AD&D used to be my favorite weekend pastime with my high school friends. It was not unusual for us to stay up all night doing dungeon crawling while emptying a can after a can of Coke or Mountain Dew (or even Jolt). Fortunately, none of us were smokers back then.
Risk was another good all-nighter game. I used to play that from time to time while living in a dorm. Spring break was the best time to play; there were always nerds around who were not going out to be with their families.
Chess was pretty fun. In particular, I used to play a lot with my girlfriend; best dates in my life.
With regards to AD&D rule books, I would not recommend everyone to buy them. The players do not need them to be able to play. Only the Dungeon Masters and campaign builders need them. Even then, good story flow takes precedence over game mechanics. Based on my brief experience as a dungeon master, I have noticed that becoming immersed in the game rules beyond bare basics (e.g. character generation and combat rules) was not worth the trouble. I should be spending more time in making a campaign more interesting, not in becoming a rules lawyer.
If the players are willing to spend some money, they should invest in a few props like lead miniature figurines instead, in order to represent their characters when running combat over a grid. But do not go overboard.