Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
Would a Hakko 936 be too much? I've used it and a variant for the past five years. It is an excellent iron and has many specialized tips available.
I used a Weller WTCPT for a few years, too. It's a good iron, but I prefer Hakko.
Before anyone buys a Hakko, I recommend they use crap Radioshack irons for 30 years like I did before I bought my 936. It makes them appreciate a good iron more
For the OP, I think the 936 is about $125 at RPElectronics, if you can save up a few more bucks.
If you can't, you can also find the good pencil irons around the Toronto electronics stores and online.
Also, remember to budget for a selection of tips.