After receiving a small but unexpected bonus from work, I'm seriously considering setting up a small home gym. The commercial gym near to me is pretty poor, with no power rack and very few free weights (can't deadlift or squat, and can't bench without a spotter, which isn't ideal as I train alone).

I'm just working out some prices, and I'm in a dilemma. The bare minimum I think I want is a power rack, a bench, a straight bar and some plates. I've more or less decided on the rack and bench, but I don't know whether to go for a cheap set of weights, or to pay a bit more for better quality. On the one hand, a weight is a weight and my muscles don't care about the brand of plates etc., and the cheap set would either save me money or let me buy some "nice-to-have's" (e.g. a pair of dumbbell handles etc.). On the other hand, better quality plates will be more accurate and therefore safer when doing near-maximal weights, plus the set I looked at has a stronger bar and rubber-coated plates (which would save the floor at my home).

Does anyone have an opinion on whether it's worth paying a bit extra for quality when it comes to plates and bar, or is it just throwing money away?