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Help about setting up a computer-based rig

Hello loopers,

I got a bit tired of the limitations of my Akay Headrush (don't ask me 
why I did't participate to the survey, as I've been far from my computer 
for two weeks), but I've a very limited budget.

As my girlfriend just bought a used IBM Thinkpad, I'd like to try some 
computer-based looping, I'd like to set-up a system I could use live, 
but my main interest now is experimenting at home.

As a musician I'm not a real computer fan, but as a computer worker, I 
think I could apply a bit of my informatics experience.

I'd like to buy some flexible gear I could upgrade if I like later.

In my basic idea, I'd like to buy

- a usb audio capture device: M-audio Audiophile
- a Midi footcontroller: maybe the Behringer everybody's talking about

Apart my basses and various effects, I'll try to connect theese devices 
I own:

- a behringer mixer
- a Zoom RT-123 drum machine (with only Midi-In)
- my girlfriend's Yamaha P-80 piano (with midi in, out and thru)

I'd like to receive your opinions and suggestions about this gear, Midi 
connections, and first of all, about the software I could use.

I'm either a Windows user and a Linux user, but I'd prefer setting up a 
Windows based system.

Thanks and sorry for my bad English