I am a beginner and in the market for some half decent light stands and umbrella brackets as well as umbrellas to experiment with off camera lighting. Any recommendations?

One thing that has me concerned is the the number of umbrella brackets on ebay. A lot appear to have the mounting hole for the umbrella parallel to the flash mount. From my understanding it should be slightly angled to allow for the flash to fire dead centre correct? Another thing i have noticed is most have the hot shoe mount built into the bracket instead of a stud. Does this make any difference? Here are some examples i am looking at.


Here are a few stands that i am looking at

What are the stands that let you extend the light over the top of a subject called? Boom stands? Is there anything i need to look out for when buying one?

Same goes for backdrops, what do I need to look out for or are they pretty much all the same?