What camera do you recommend/own?
Reccommend: depends on budget and skill level. Own: Old Nikon D70 and a Nikon D200 (soon to be D300 or D700)
Do you suggest that someone get the "kit" lens with their SLR?
Yes to start with. Also recommend a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 to get an idea what a decent lens can do.
Edited to add: Nikon has some pretty decent kit lenses, but I've heard the Canon ones are horrible. For Nikon, the kit lenses are just fine for beginners until they figure out if this is something they want to sink lots of money into.
What lens do you use most often?
17-55mm f/2.8 DX
What do you think someone buying their first DSLR should purchase up front?
Again, depends on the budget. I think the 2nd tier Nikons (D90, etc) are a great starting point. The 1st tier are nice and fit 90% of the needs of most people but I find them too small to be comfortable.
Where did you get your camera bag?
B&H and EBay- Crumpler 6 Million $ home for carrying around and on shoots. Also, Crumpler Karachi Outpost as the giant bag that will hold everything. Crumpler something Barge for short trips with just a couple lenses and a flash.
What do you use to edit?
Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Do you use backdrops? What kind of set up do you have?
No, I prefer natural settings.
Anything else someone buying their first camera should know?
Buy what feels good to you and what you can afford. Buy used lenses.
Don't get caught up in editing tricks, but do learn to process a nice black and white. Just shoot and shoot and shoot some more and you'll get better at it. If you really want to get better at it, get comments and critiques from better photographers, but don't take criticism personally.
One question I get asked a lot: what book about photography would you recommend?
I really like the National Geographic Photography Field Guide. I have the 1st and 2nd editions, but there's a newer one too that is probably more up to date about digital photography.