It looks like companies are really starting to get the hint -- people want to podcast. Although it is still a little tough to get the software side of it setup (if you really want to produce something with multiple inputs), the hardware end is getting a reall boost lately. Some time ago, I got one the new USB powered Samson Audio microphone. It looks and sounds very good ... it did take me quite a bit of time to get it setup, but now that it is the results are great.
To add to that, on Friday at work one of my new staff came in to show me what he had just purchased for the group, the Blue Microphones Snowball Microphone ... he picked it up from the Apple Store. Here is another one of those plug and play kinds of things. Although I haven't used it myself he says the quality is fantastic. It doesn't look quite as good as the Samson in its shock cage, but if it really works as well as he says, this might be the one. Then yesterday I saw the M-Audio has released the Podcast Factory setup ... its a nice mic, some software, and a breakout box all in one package. While I was the director of the Solutions Institute, our podcast studio used two M-Audio mics and a USB breakout box -- not easy to setup, but the quality was unmatched. I am curious about this new release by them.
Remember, its also really simple to just open QuickTime Pro and use your iSight as a microphone. I do that for quick class releated podcasts and the quality is strong as well. If you have a PowerBook, the built in mic isn't too bad either, but nothing like the iSight's mic. Garage Band has some good support as well, but not nearly as easy as QT Pro.All in all, it seems as though podcasting (and content creation in general) is finally hitting the point where anyone can do it -- with the right tools ... and the tools are finally available.